Final Friday Art Loop: Laura Simmons

Final Friday Art Loop in Cary kicks off new season

aspecht@newsobserver.comJanuary 29, 2014 

  • Final Friday lineup

    Page-Walker Arts & History Center, 119 Ambassador Loop; handmade felt by Sharon Parker

    Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave.; vessels, clay sculptures and mixed-media installations by Mark Gordon

    Bond Park Community Center, 150 Metro Park Drive; mixed-medium “Koi reflections” by Wade Carmichael

    Cary Senior Center, 120 Maury Odell Place; photography of the Carolinas by Laura Simmons

    Herb Young Community Center, 101 Wilkinson Ave.; acrylic on canvas and mixed-media by Nate Key

    Cary Town Hall, 316 N. Academy St., mixed media by McKenzie Ringhofer and Vicki Rees

    Waverly Artists Group, 302 Colonades Way, Suite 209; wine art and music as the group celebrates its second anniversary

  • Want to go?

    Final Friday Art Loop is is a monthly event at venues throughout Cary. For more information, search “The Cary Art Loop” on Facebook.

— Turn right down the main hallway of the Cary Senior Center to find familiar scenes from western Wake County and Raleigh.

There’s Ashworth Drugs in Cary, children celebrating the Fourth of July in downtown Apex and the State Fairgrounds, illuminated by neon lights at night.

The center is one of several venues featuring local artists during Cary’s Final Friday Art Loop, an event hosted at local venues on the last Friday of each month.

Other venues include the Page-Walker Arts & History Center, the Cary Arts Center, the Bond Park Community Center and more.

The images clinging to the walls of the Cary Senior Center were created by Laura Simmons, a photographer who often uses Photoshop to enhance her art.

Simmons, 47, lives in Holly Springs. She began dabbling in photography several years ago when she lived in Cary’s Lochmere subdivision.

She got a lot of positive feedback from entering a few of her landscape photos in local contests.

“I found that people really liked things that are close to home,” Simmons said. “I try to make them feel nostalgic.”

Though she’s a Massachusetts native, Simmons said she’s drawn to the North Carolina landscape. That sentiment is reflected in her pictures of old barn houses, historic homes and tree lines.

“You get both ends of the spectrum (urban and rural areas) in a small geographic area,” she said. “I like everything about living here.”

Custom installation

The Cary Arts Center will feature more artwork with local zeal.

Mark Gordon, 61, lives in Wilson, and his two installation pieces are new and special to the center.

One of the installations is a 25-foot-long chain “necklace” with suspended clay shapes that are wood-fired with fly-ash deposit glaze.

“They look very rustic, old, natural … and are suspended from large springs from a trampoline,” Gordon said.

For the other installation, Gordon is smashing old clay objects and putting them in a mesh drum.

Gordon’s exhibit will also feature traditional wheel-thrown clay vessels and sculptures.

“I just want people to respond,” he said.

Specht: 919-460-2608; Twitter: @AndySpecht

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