closeone-camIf you are out and about in downtown Raleigh this First Friday (March 2), don’t forget to include CAM Raleigh on your list of arty destinations. The museum continues to present exciting and interactive events on First Fridays, creating an atmosphere of fun, creativity and education. This month the museum welcomes in a new exhibition in the Independent Weekly Emerging Artist gallery “Close One” by a Chicago-based artist, Chris Bradley.

I had the pleasure of attending CAM Raleigh’s artist talk this last weekend as Chris walked a group of museum guests through his exhibition. This show features fascinating pieces of sculpture (both free standing and wall-mounted) that at a distance appear to be average everyday items. Upon closer look, one begins to see that nothing is as it appears. An artfully displayed ring of pizza crusts is actually made out of cast bronze and paint, cardboard pizza boxes complete with grease marks are made out of metal and paint with old cigarette butts made out of wood, metal potato chips, avocados and pretzel rods set up like shooting targets, large semi-truck loading doors made out of wood, canvas and paint (complete with “dirt” finger writing) are all just some of the cool items within this show.

One of the more interesting tidbits I learned from the artist is that he imagines himself as a character making these pieces of art out of everyday items, an average Joe sitting around his house daydreaming of travel and adventure. The displays are set up in such a way that suggests a second-hand wistfulness by a man unaware of his own casual talent.

The show makes great use of the clean gallery space and is very different from the other shows that CAM Raleigh has presented in this gallery proving, yet again, that CAM Raleigh has it’s finger on the pulse of what is new and fresh in contemporary art.  “Close One” is on display at the museum through May 28.

During this week’s Frist Friday event on March 2, you can come see “Close One” for yourself and also enjoy the current Born Digital exhibition in the main gallery and the beautiful film, Dancer, a montage of dancers on the streets of Miami that runs on a continual loop in the lower screening room. The event will also feature student docents sharing their unique perspective on the art, a hands-on activity at the creation station, music by DJ Drew Diggle and a cash bar.

Admission to the museum is always FREE for members, NC State Students, and Faculty and $5 for everyone else. CAM Raleigh is open late until 10pm on all First Fridays. Stop by and spend some time exploring the magic of this fantastic local gem.

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