Tag Archives: Durham

A Closer Look: Elizabeth Matheson

Elizabeth Matheson is one of North Carolina’s most important photographers.  Her work is subtle and quiet, taking as its subject the old homes and landscapes of the South.

In her interior shots, Matheson masterfully captures images that seem frozen in time.

Born in Hillsborough, North Carolina in 1943,  she studied with John Menapace at the Penland School over 30 years ago, and has had solo shows at numerous venues including the North Carolina Museum of art and the Gregg Musuem at NCState.

We featured Matheson in our previous post about the art collection at the NCState Chancellor’s House. Four of Matheson’s photographs grace that home’s stair hall and dining room (below).

To take a closer look, check out her upcoming show at the Horace Williams House in Chapel Hill on May 6th.  More information can be found at the Chapel Hill Preservation Society.


image 1: design lines

image 2, 3, 4, 5: flickr

A Closer Look: Full Frame Film Festival

Did you know Durham hosts one of the world’s best film festivals every year?  The Full Frame Film Festival began in 1998 as a small event hosted by Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies.  Nowadays, it takes over downtown Durham for 4 days and plays host to over 100 films.  It runs April 12th – 15th.  You can purchase your tickets online or at the event.

Here are my top picks for this year:

1. Samsura, April 12th at 10pm

“Through an intricate synthesis of images, and without a single word of dialogue, this intoxicating film takes us on a cross-continental journey through our modern world. Samsara is a Tibetan word that means “the ever-turning wheel of life.” Contributing to the cyclical rhythm at work, music builds and drifts away throughout this vast array of images, impeccably captured on 70mm film.”


2. Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, April 13th at 7:20pm

“With intimate access to the artist, Alison Klayman presents a portrait of Chinese photographer, sculptor, architect, and activist Ai Weiwei. Captured over the course of three years, this portrait is as much about the current state of China as it is Ai Weiwei’s art and character. Exhibited all over the world, his pieces present a unique collision of grand imagination and pointed politics…”


3. The D Train, April 14 at 1:50pm

“A man enters the subway, paying with a token. To the accompaniment of a jaunty Shostakovich waltz, archival images tell a life story—at once singular and universal. The latest inspired composite from Jay Rosenblatt (Phantom Limb,The Darkness of Day) features a dynamic collection of found images, mostly black and white but with the occasional splash of vibrant color. Texture, movement, and connections spark as life passes before our eyes.”


4. Detropia, April 13th at 4:40pm

“[This film is] an affecting and modern symphony of Detroit, a casualty and the epitome of fin de siècle industrial and urban abandonment. The city’s rapid decline (half of its inhabitants have moved since 1970 and half of its manufacturing jobs have been lost since 2000) triggered a fight-or-flight response on a massive scale, resulting in unprecedented political and civic challenges and corresponding radical countermeasures.”


5. How to Survive a Plague, April 14th at 7:20pm

“In the early 1980s when the number of AIDS cases in America began to soar, many organizations with the resources to help turned a blind eye to the epidemic. Enter ACT UP, a group of activists who felt they’d been backed into a corner by society’s complacent attitudes. Many of ACT UP’s members were HIV-positive and saw this unifying political action as their only hope of survival.”


I hope to see you there!



images and quoted text: http://www.fullframefest.org

A Closer Look: Beverly McIver

An artist from Durham is currently being featured with a solo show at the North Carolina Museum of Art.  And you won’t want to miss it!

Reflections: Portraits by Beverly McIver celebrates the last decade of work from the native of North Carolina.  She is renowned for her expression-filled, emotive canvases that commemorate her life and the lives of those closest to her—in particular, her mother, Ethel, who passed away in 2004, and her sister, Renee, who is mentally disabled.

The exhibition highlights these two subjects in McIver’s work, focusing solely on her self-portraits and on portraits of Renee and other family members. “All of my portraits are self-portraits,” says the artist. “I use the faces of others who reflect my most inner being.”


The show runs through June.  For more info: http://ncartmuseum.org/



image 1: contemporary art co

image 2: nccu.edu

image 3: westcityfilms

text: http://ncartmuseum.org/

A Closer Look: Jeremy Kerman At Craven Allen Gallery

Art inspires the way we live, see and understand the world.  It certainly inspires the work we do at Design Lines so much so, that Rob has created a  new blog series called “A Closer Look.” Every Friday he will take you a journey through art, design, and the intersection of the two. So take it away Rob!

Design Lines Ltd. Craven Art Gallery Jeremy Kerman

Last week, I was excited to see Jeremy Kerman’s show “Find myself a City to Live In” at Craven Allen Gallery in Durham.  I originally saw his collage paintings in Watt’s Grocery, a restaurant just a few doors away, and I was immediately hooked.   Using scraps of photos and paint on paper, he casts local Durham landmarks in a new light.  

Design Lines Ltd. Craven Art Gallery Jeremy Kerman 2

Worked over surfaces, hastily joined paper, and a fanciful juxtaposition of scales give these paintings the feeling that they were created intuitively, despite the artist’s formal education in art.  It is this freshness and honesty that draws me to Kerman’s work.  But what keeps me interested are the fascinating urban spaces he creates within – places that are as familiar as they are fanciful.  Can you recognize any of them?

Jeremy Kerman’s work is up through the end of the month.  Craven Allen Gallery is located at 1106½ Broad Street in Durham, North Carolina.  (919) 286-4837


images: Craven Allen Gallery

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