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26The Tar HeelMonday, August 18, 1986
Performances, classes of ArtSchool need funds'
By KATIE WHITE
The first thing newcomers to the
Chapel Hill-Carrboro area ask is:
What's there to do? There's the night
life, the restaurants, the movie
theaters and usually something
entertaining to watch on the down
town streets. And then there's the
Center for Visual and Performing
Arts, an organization known to town
dwellers as the ArtSchool.
The ArtSchool was started in 1974
in a loft on Main Street in Carrboro
by Jaque Menache, an art teacher
with a master's degree in art from
UNC. now executive director of
programs at the ArtSchool. His idea
was that he wanted to rent a space
to teach painting and drawing and
he began with 30 students.
By 1979. his school had attracted
more interest. Not only did Menache
continue to teach painting and
drawing, he added programs in
drama, poetry, photography and
other visual arts. With a repertoire
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of 17 programs attended by 300
students, he began to look for more
space as well as grants. He then
became involved in saving the old
mill which is now Carr Mill Mall,
and by luck, he landed an eight-year
lease of the warehouse for his
expanding organization. Because of
a miscalculation in the amount of
funds needed to fix up his new space,
the ArtSchool ran out of money.
The only thing that Menache could
do was appeal to the community, and
it came through for him. The Town
of Carrboro came in, a board of
directors was formed, grants and
loans came in. Friends of the Art
School was established to continue
the needed renovations, and the
ArtSchool was born. It's been a
success story from the start and is
"The ArtSchool is for everybody,"
says Menache. He explains that it has
two main concerns, teaching classes
in the various aspects of art and
showcasing the performing arts.
There are two semesters. Fall and
Spring, during which instruction is
offered in subjects such as photo
graphy, drawing, painting, acting,
music, writing and special programs
Menache says that the programs
for children have become very pop
ular, especially in the summer when
the ArtSchool offers a type of
summer camp for children of all ages.
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ArtSchool instructors also go into the
public school system to teach. Uni
versity students, professionals, doc
tors, engineers, townies and teens are
just some of the people who utilize
and enjoy these classes.
Menache is quick to stress the
performing side of the ArtSchool.
"We're a presenting producing,
community professional organiza
tion," he explains.
One can see professional perfor
mances and theater companies
including groups like the Touch
Mime, the Transactors and Puppet
Express. Local talent is very preval
ent in play productions and music
performances. There is a televised
talent show, filmed at the ArtSchool
by a local television station. Some
big-name bands in traditional, folk,
classical, jazz, rock and reggae often
stop in Carrboro to play as they move
down the East coast. Local bands
also enjoy playing at the school.
There are also many affiliates, such
as The Childrens' Tap Company,
Poet's Co-op, Writer's Co-op,
Actor's Co-op, Community Holistic
Health Center and Gallery Commit
tee as well as satellite galleries and
exhibits which provide outlets for the
outpouring of talent.
"It's wild," says Menache. It would
seem that way, looking at all the
things that the ArtSchool can offer
to the community, yet it is done in
a very organized and orderly manner.
The organization is controlled by
a large board of directors which
organizes at least 12 committees at
one time to orchestrate the center.
Since it is a non-profit cultural arts
center, it depends heavily on grants
from local, state and national foun
dations. Remarkably, 60 to 70
percent of its budget comes from its
own income. In 1984, Menache was
able to hire a small staff that since
has grown to 12 full and part-time
Now, again, Menache has to
relocate. The lease he had procured
eight years ago in Carr Mill is up
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in December, but he has known that
his dream was growing too big. He
began to research for some space.
What he found is the former Piggly
Wiggly food store at 3001 E. Main
St., Carrboro. He desires to build an
"arts inclusive, mixed-use develop
ment" which will include shops and
businesses with the art center as its
hub. This idea has worked in other
places and has now inspired a group
of people to go into a partnership
with Menache. The partnership has
bought the whole shopping center
and is looking for more land. They've
acquired a 20-year lease.
It has not been easy for the
ArtSchool. A simple idea born in a
loft now has grown to a large
organization. Obtaining the funds to
move the school has been a real
challenge and now the idea is in
jeopardy; it is $45,000 short of
Self-portraits of artist
By ELIZABETH WHITE
Special to the STH
"Self-Portrait in Profile" by Kathe
Kollwitz (1867-1945) is one of several
self-portraits now on display in the
exhibit "Likeness and Character:
Portraits in the Ackland Art
One of 84 self-portraits done by
Kollwitz, this 1927 lithograph is an
extremely intense piece. Kollwitz was
a master of chiaroscuro. Her control
of a range of values of light and dark
is evident in the piece's dramatic dark
deep-set eyes, strong chin and mouth.
Her emotional self-presentation is
not narcissistic but frank and unre
lenting. One gets a sense of power
and determination in the profile,
perhaps mixed with melancholy. Not
a compromiser, Kollwitz believed in
showing things as they were. In this
realistically rendered work, the
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the best of both worlds!
beginning moving expenses and has
to vacate Carr Mill by December.
"It's not panic city yet," Menache
says. He predicts that the center will
probably go dark foj a few months,
but one of the keys to the ArtSchool's
success is the fact that it produces
so much of its own budget. Closing
for three or four months could cause
the multi-faceted organization to
fold. If the move is successful, the
potential for the Carrboro downtown
area is large, he says.
"It could possibly redefine the
whole area," Menache says. "Trying
to make it is one of my philosophies."
If you're newly arrived in the
Chapel Hill-Carrboro area, go by the
ArtSchool before it goes dark to
catch the show or take a class this
fall and while you're there, look
around and experience the potential.
The Ackland Art Museum. UNC-Chapel Hill
A self portrait of Kathe Kollwitz
strong features seem appropriate to
her attitudes and life.
A Socialist and an avid defender
of workers', women's and gay rights,
her art was banned in Germany
during the Nazi rule. Many of her
pieces were destroyed, both deliber
ately and in a bombing of her home
in 1943. Best known for her work
in lithography and woodcut, Kol
lwitz was a compassionate woman,
a celebrant of revolution, and a '
mourner of life's tragedies. Perhaps
this piece's melancholy derives from
her understanding of human suffer
ing and its inevitability.
Kollwitz is celebrated in this
exhibit of more than 100 paintings,
drawings, photographs and sculp-,
tures, along with such diverse masters'
as Rembrandt, Rodin, David Hock
ney and Andy Warhol. Ackland's
curator Dean Walker will give a
gallery talk Wednesday, Aug. 20 at
1 2: 1 5 p.m. The Ackland Art Museum'
is open Tuesday Saturday 10 a.m.
to 5 p.m., and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5
p.m. Admission is free.
104 W. Main St Carrboro
(Across from Wendy's on C Busline) Mon.-Sat 9-6
Weaver Dairy Rd.