Cary, NC — Last weekend’s Final Friday was a rainy and humid one in Downtown Cary – but that didn’t stop the crowd that filled the Cary Gallery of Artists for a very special celebration.
Cary Gallery of Artists Celebrates 10 Years
The Cary Gallery of Artists, located in Downtown Cary’s Ashworth Village, is Cary’s oldest art gallery. On Friday, September 25, 2015, I attended the gallery’s 10th anniversary celebration.
Greg Miller’s jazz band was playing outside. Inside, guests were mingling over wine and snacks from Kababish Cafe, Chanticleer Cafe & Bakery and Academy Street Bistro. One of the Cary Gallery of Artists members had even made a striking cake with a paint palette on top.
The shop was packed with the gallery’s 22 exhibiting artists and their friends and family. Cary’s Downtown Manager, Ted Boyd, was there along with Mr. and Mrs. Ralph and Daphne Ashworth, who own Ashworth Village. After a bit of mingling, Mr. Ashworth gave a toast to the crowd.
He told us that, 11 years ago, he took a trip with Mrs. Ashworth to New Orleans. It was there that they saw an artist co-operative for the first time. “Right away, I thought, we need something like this in Cary,” he told the crowd. The Cary Gallery of Artists opened a year later.
An Artist Cooperative
The Cary Gallery of Artists is an artist cooperative – that is, a group of artists who come together to provide a venue where they can jointly display and sell artwork. The members of the Cary Gallery all live in the Triangle, and their artworks cover a wide spectrum of mediums.
The gallery is one of the most distinct in Cary – in it, you can find jewelry, pottery, paintings, ink on porcelain and more. There’s no “one style” of art, either – whether you’re a fan of modern art or classic art, beautiful landscapes or edgy works, there is something for people of all tastes.
Past, Present & Future
After the event, I followed up with Susan Luster, an amazing ceramics artist who joined the gallery eight years ago. “Friday night was a joyous, wonderful party,” she told me.
When I asked Susan about the gallery’s history, she told me that the real driving force behind the gallery was an artist named Winnie Ferguson.
Mr. and Mrs. Ashworth had approached Winnie, a talented artist, when they got back from their New Orleans trip to tell her that they had the space for her to make an artist cooperative. She jumped into it right away. “Winnie was a whirlwind,” Susan said fondly.
“Ten years ago, Jean Scholz [a current member of the gallery who helped with its original planning] went away for a week and, when she got back, Winnie had already opened the gallery,” Susan laughed. Winnie Ferguson, a beloved member of Cary’s art community, passed away in 2012. One of her paintings hangs beside a dedication to her in the gallery today.
Visit the Gallery
The Cary Gallery of Artists has something for everyone – whether your taste in art is eclectic, modern or classic, I guarantee that the mix will delight you.
Cary Gallery of Artists
200 S. Academy Street, Downtown Cary
Open Monday-Saturday (11 am-5:30 pm)
Open until 9 pm on Final Fridays
Story and photos by Jessica Patrick.
CaryCitizen is sponsored in-part by Elegant Stitches in Waverly Place.