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United Arts Council

Visual Art Exhibitions

Each year, the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County curates and sponsors 23 art exhibits in two locations: the Wake County Justice Center in downtown Raleigh and WakeMed Raleigh on New Bern Avenue. If you are interested in exhibiting your two-dimensional work in either location, contact Brandi Neuwirth at bneuwirth@unitedarts.org or (919) 839-1498, ext. 205.

New exhibits open:

WakeMed Raleigh, New Bern Campus
Watercolors by Karen Rose
through August 8, 2017

Duke Gardens
Karen Rose


Artist  Statement:  I have been painting for over 30 years in New York City, San Francisco and Raleigh. I was an abstract (loosely grid-based) painter before I moved to North Carolina and turned to the landscapes, gardens and native plants of the area. I am most interested in when a line goes from just being a line to alluding to something real, like a horizon or a stalk of grass, or when a swath of color becomes the sea or a cloud. I explore this passage between abstraction and representation with my recent body of work.

Everything that I practiced in abstract painting serves my representational work - color, looseness and the sense of how just a few marks can activate a space or go beyond themselves to representation. I embarked on this work by painting dozens of watercolors in the Galapagos, en plein air during the limited time I had on each island. I had to allude to what I was depicting with spare strokes. I went on to paint in gardens and landscapes in North Carolina and around the country.

For my future work, I plan to make narrative landscapes, inspired by the travel prints of Hiroshige. The narratives will be from different scenes in my life around the world as well as issues such as climate change, war, poverty and injustice.

About the Artist:  I am from Marin County across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. I’ve lived in New York City for a dozen years and now in Raleigh, NC. I worked in the art world in New York for a major art consultant as well as publicity coordinator and graphic designer for Lucasfilm in Northern California. Currently I teach at Wiley International Magnet Elementary.  I recently exhibited at the North Carolina Botanical Gardens in Chapel Hill. This one-person show was titled Mountain, Coastal and Piedmont NC Natives and included over 35 paintings and watercolors. 

Wake County Justice Center (2nd, 3rd and 4th floors)
Paintings by Eric McRay
Through July 26, 2017

"Blue Bird"  by Eric McRay

 Artist  Statement:  Eric McRay’s exhibition at the Wake County Justice Center features a collection of his latest abstract paintings on canvas. Through a strongly intuitive process, McRay applies thick coats of richly colored acrylic paint to each canvas, giving them a distinct personality all their own.

"In this body of work, I have created new paintings in the tradition of the 1940s and 1950s mid-century, non-objective abstraction. My focus is on subjective, emotional expression with a particular emphasis on spontaneous, creative actions to create this dynamic series."

About the Artist:  Eric McRay received a BFA degree at the Maryland Institute, College of Art, where he earned a four-year scholarship for his artistic talent. A native of Washington, DC, McRay moved to North Carolina and has been exhibiting since 1987. In November 1998, he was juried into Raleigh’s prestigious Artspace. Since opening his Artspace studio in downtown Raleigh, McRay has served in the offices of Vice-President and President of the Artspace Artists Association, as well as served on Artspace’s board of directors and Executive Committee.

McRay’s artistic career has been featured on TV and radio programs, and in numerous newspapers, magazines and websites. The Raleigh News & Observer named him one of the “Artists to Watch”. Numerous times he has been listed among the “Best Local Artist” and “Favorite Local Artist”. McRay has received feature articles in Fortune Small Business, Art Business News, Our State Magazine, Walter Magazine and Southern Living Magazine.

Some of his collectors include the SAS Institute, American Tobacco Campus, North Carolina Central University Art Museum, Duke University Medical Center, Duke Health Raleigh Hospital, NC State University, UNC – Chapel Hill and Western Wake Hospital, as well as many private collectors locally, nationally and internationally. Also, McRay was privileged to participate in the Art in Embassies Program, which displayed his works in the US Embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark.

410 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 170
Raleigh NC 27603

Phone: (919) 839-1498
Fax: (919) 839-6002