Shop Local: Party with the AAArtists and The OAK Team

February 22, 2010 at 4:12 am (Shop Local)

In 2005, I was juried into the Artspace Artists Association (AAA). I credit the day I was juried into Artspace as the turning point in my career, for it was at that moment that I went from kitchen table crafter to a professional artist.  

Many of you may have visited Artspace, a historic building in downtown Raleigh’s City Market. It is my home away from home. It is where I create (all of my jewelry components are made in Studio 109A), and it is where I have exhibited my work time and time again. But for me, what makes Artspace special is not just the building itself, but the artists within the building who make up the Artspace Artists Association (AAA).

The Artspace Artists Association (AAA) is an organization of professional artists working together to promote growth of the individual artist, to provide an environment of interaction with other artists and with the public, and to foster the mission of Artspace.

There are over 90 members of AAA, over 40 of which have studios in the building. All of the artists are juried into AAA through a rigorous two-stage jury process. The first stage is a slide jury made up of Artspace artists. The second stage is an object jury made up outside jurors (not affiliated with Artspace).

The Artspace Artists Association provides exhibition opportunities for the artists by renting the Upfront Gallery, awarding a People’s Choice Award monthly, and promoting the artists through local advertising and special events. In the past, AAA has supported itself through membership dues and participation in community events, like the Fayetteville Street Paint Out.

This year, in order to continue providing services and opportunities to its artists, AAA is planning a couple of fundraisers, the first of which is this Saturday night at The Berkley Cafe.

Unlike most art fundraisers, however, you will not have to fork out a lot of money at an auction or even get dressed up for this one.

“We don’t get out much, but when we do, we like to party,” says fellow AAA artist Melinda Fine. “It’s going to be a foot-stompin’, hip-waggin’ good time.”

Fine who has coordinated this event, along with her studio partner Alison Overton, have arranged for Terry Anderson and The OAK Team to play, while Berkley Cafe Owner Jim Shire, is generously allowing AAA to keep all of the ticket sales.

“Terry Anderson and Jack Cornell of The OAK Team have been playing in bands in the Raleigh area since the late 70’s – first The Fabulous Knobs, then the Woodpeckers, which morphed into the Woods,” says Fine. “They have a big and loyal following in this area, but only play here a couple times a year. We are fortunate that they will play one of their few local shows as a fundraiser for AAA.”

Fine adds that Anderson and company are  fun to see live. ” They will have everyone laughing and dancing all night long,” she says.

Tickets for this event are $8.00 in advance (available at Artspace) or $12.00 at the door. As the past President and current Vice President of AAA, I will be dusting off my dancing shoes to attend, and I hope to see you there too!

So this week, don’t just shop local, party local with the artists of The Artspace Artists Association.

The deadline for the next jury for membership into The Artspace Artists Association is April 1st. Click here for a prospectus or visit to apply.

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