An occasional list of exhibits, programs, and events at North Carolina museums. Sponsored by the North Carolina Museums Council.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

NCMC Events From Around the State…  September 24, 2012
Special Announcement: NCMC 2013 Annual Meeting Call for proposals
North Carolina Museums Council celebrates the 50th Anniversary of its inception in 2013, and we’ll be celebrating our accomplishments during the annual meeting. Through this Call for Proposals, we invite you to share your knowledge, experience and lessons learned. Sessions typically provide practical and relevant discussions of successes and failures and new ways of conquering our common issues. For more information and Session Proposal Forms please visit the Call for Proposals web page.

1). Museum of the Albemarle ( Museum of the Albemarle will celebrate “Take A Child Outside Week” on Saturday, September 29, 2012 from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm.  Participants will discover outside games from the past on the Museum Green.  Past games will include the game of graces, jump rope, marbles, hula hoop, potato sack jumping, and many other fun games for outside enjoyment.
2). HandsOn! ( the children’s museum in downtown Hendersonville, invites you to create your own puppet at the “Tall Tales & Fairytales” class on Tuesday, September 25th from 10:30am to 12:30 pm.  Learn to tell stories that have been passed on through many generations using your own puppet as well as the many Hands On! puppets. Ages 7-10. Cost to attend is &15.00 for non-members and $9.00 for members. Limited spaces. Call to sign- up.
3). The Bascom ( Discover a treasure trove of craft art during “Celebration!” A weekend event at The Bascom in Highlands from September 28–29, the itinerary will include a patrons-only cocktail reception; artists’ demonstrations, such as woodturning and ceramics-making; a panel on “Collecting Craft: A Love Affair”; silent auction and cocktail buffet. The festivities will culminate in a live auction of select craft by major American artists. This exciting annual event, sponsored this year by Wells Fargo, will feature an informative and entertaining line-up of activities geared to American craft.
4). N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences ( Titanic, the ship of dreams, still fascinates readers, moviegoers and just about anyone who has heard the tragic tale, even a century after an iceberg sent the now-legendary ship to the bottom of the icy North Atlantic. Starting September 29, visitors to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences can follow that fateful voyage, take on the identity of a passenger, touch the iceberg and see more than 200 artifacts recovered from the broken ship’s debris field two-and-a-half miles beneath the surface. “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition” runs through April 28, 2013, immersing visitors in the experience of the 2,228 passengers — titans of commerce, artists, leaders of countries, immigrant dreamers, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters.
5). Joel Lane Museum House ( will present its fourth “Antiques Appraisal Fair” on Saturday, September 29, 2012 from 10 am to 4 pm. The fee will be $20 for a non-binding, verbal appraisal for up to 3 items. Advanced purchase is required. Come join us for the Joel Lane House’s own version of a popular television show as Claire Fraser from Leland Little Antiques and Estate Sales and C. Edward Alexander examine your beloved objects and tell you if they are treasures or trash. Their appraisals will be non-binding and are verbal-only estimates.
6). Ava Gardner Museum ( presents its annual “Ava Gardner Festival”, Oct. 5-7, 2012, featuring Gardner’s co-star and friend Gregory Peck. Events include “The Great Sinner” Gala on Friday evening. On Saturday there will be heritage tours, new exhibits, and vintage Ava Gardner/Gregory Peck film screenings in the museum theater throughout the day. Ava’s personal assistant, Mearene Jordan, will be present to celebrate the release of her new book, Living With Miss G. The event will conclude Sunday with a screening of To Kill a Mockingbird. All-day admission to the museum and screenings is $7 per person. 
7). Tryon Palace ( presents Tryon Palace Performing Art Series:  “Celebrating JS Bach” on Friday, September 28, 6:00 p.m. in the North Carolina History Center, Cullman Performance Hall. Cost: $25 general admission, $20 for Tryon Palace Council of Friends members and Active Military, and $10 for students with ID. “Celebrating JS Bach” presents an extraordinary selection of the composer’s works including the Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, the D Minor Piano Concerto, the Trio Aria from Cantata No. 100, and selections from the famous Partitas and Suites.
8). Natural Science Center of Greensboro ( Join Buddy the Dinosaur from the popular PBS KIDS' show “Dinosaur Train” and become a Nature Tracker at the Natural Science Center of Greensboro (NSC) on Saturday, September 29, from 10am to 4pm, the Center is having Dinosaur Train Nature Trackers Adventure Day that will include meet and greets with Buddy, fun-filled activities, special giveaways and the opportunity for kids to become official members of the Nature Trackers Club.
9). N.C. Museum of History ( presents “North Carolina: Battleground State” on Thursday, October 4 from 7–9 p.m. North Carolina is a battleground state with national attention focused on the races for president, governor, and Congress. A panel of analysts will look at how the battle is progressing. Rob Christensen, political columnist for the News and Observer, will serve as moderator. Democratic consultants Gary Pearce and Brad Crone, Republican consultant Carter Wrenn, John Hood of the John Locke Foundation, and political scientist Andrew Taylor will participate.
10). N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher ( Show the ocean some love, meet new friends and rid local beaches of trash and marine debris during the 2012 North Carolina Big Sweep. The N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher will again organize a volunteer group for the event on Saturday, September 29, to make a big difference. Those interested need only commit several hours of time. Volunteers who register with the Aquarium will meet at 9 a.m. and will travel to a nearby beach to collect trash. Bags will be provided. If you would like to participate with the Aquarium’s Big Sweep team, please email  or call (910) 458-7468. Remember to bring your own water in a reusable bottle, on the day of the event.

Monday, September 17, 2012

NCMC Events From Around the State… September 17, 2012

1). Joel Lane Museum House  Ed Willer will speak on "Antiques: Fake, Fraud, or the Real Thing? " on Thursday, October 18, 2012, at 7 pm at the Visitors Center at 160 South Saint Mary’s Street, Raleigh, NC 27603. Admission will be $15 for the general public and $10 for members of the Joel Lane Historical Society. Refreshments will be served. Seating is limited, and advanced payment is required.

2). Museum of the Albemarle On Sunday, September 23, 2012, the Museum of the Albemarle will be opened for “George Durant Day” from 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm. The program will be in conjunction with Arts of the Albemarle’s 2012 Designer House located at Cobbs Point. Dr. Rebecca Seaman will speak at 2:15 pm in the Gaither Auditorium on “George Durant’s Enduring Legacy in Northeastern North Carolina.” Also, visitors will be able to view in “Our Story” Mr. Durant’s Bible that was printed in London in 1599. The Durant Bible will be on display from September 17-29, 2012 courtesy of the University of North Carolina Wilson Library in Chapel Hill. Mr. Durant is recognized for his role in the Culpepper’s Rebellion and for having one of the earliest recorded land deeds in North Carolina dated August 1661.

3). SECCA  presents “Talk @ SECCA: Anne Kesler Shields Panel Discussion” on Thursday, September 27, 6 p.m. Much has changed, and much has stayed the same over the 50+ years spanned in Anne Kesler Shields’ legendary career retrospective at SECCA. Shields and guest curator Tom Patterson will lead a colorful, anecdotal discussion about the evolution of the visual arts in Winston-Salem. Please join them and other distinguished guests in a look back across time, technique, and the many people, places and events that have informed one of the city’s most important and enduring artists.

4). Gregg Museum of Art & Design presents “Art Without Artists” from September 27-December 16, 2012. Combining things like anonymous snapshots, bullet-riddled deer crossing signs, industrial tools that might pass for contemporary masterpieces, and quirky transformational objects that may be natural, found, or completely accidental, “Art Without Artists” probes whether art exists only in the eye of the beholder or remains forever stranded in some Twilight Zone between intention and chance. Opening reception: Thursday, September 27, 6-8pm.

5). Vance Birthplace State Historic Site  Once again, history will come alive on the weekend of September 23. Vance Birthplace State Historic Site will be hosting the annual “Fall Militia Encampment”, Saturday, Sept. 23, 10 a.m.-4:00 p.m and Sunday, Sept. 24, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free. This event will highlight the early years of our country’s history, when citizens banded together to form local militias to protect their lives and property. Periodically, the militia’s officers would call a muster (a gathering of the members) for training, such as small arms drills. The Catawba Militia will demonstrate common camp life activities, drill routines and tell visitors what it was like to serve in the militia. Members of the group will also provide some hands-on activities for children.

6). HandsOn!  the children’s museum in downtown Hendersonville, invites you to come to a brand new class. “Storybook Drama, A Caregiver and Me” class will be held on Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 at 11:00 am. This interactive drama class allows children to bring a book to life though acting, art and creative movement. This class will help you and your child learn how to use your imaginations in creative play at home! This month’s book is “The Three Little Pigs”, by Patricia Seibert. The class will be offered once a month and the October 17th class will focus on “Rainbow Fish” by Marcus Pfister. Cost to attend is $5 for members and $10 for non-members. Great for children ages 3-6.

7). Weatherspoon Art Museum  presents “17 Days Kick-Off Party at WAM!” on Friday, Sep 21, 6-8 pm, tickets are $5 per person, at the door. Celebrate Greensboro's “17 DAYS Arts & Culture Festival” and the first day of autumn with the UAC's Kick-Off Party in the Weatherspoon Art Museum's beautiful outdoor Sculpture Garden. Live music featuring House of Dues, refreshments, and of course access to the Museum's fall exhibitions. “17 DAYS Arts & Culture Festival” (September 21-October 7, 2012) is a unique collaboration of over 50 organizations and the United Arts Council of Greater Greensboro, showcasing Greensboro's top artists, presenters, producing organizations, museums and venues.

8). Cape Fear Museum  The state’s annual gathering of shell collectors, exhibitors and enthusiasts returns to Cape Fear Museum of History and Science September 22 and 23. The 2012 North Carolina Shell Show, co-sponsored by the N.C. Shell Club and Cape Fear Museum, will feature hundreds of seashells – remnants of bivalves and gastropods alike – collected far and wide by club members and other exhibitors. Participants from up and down the East Coast will install museum-quality displays and compete for ribbons, trophies and bragging rights. Experience the largest gathering of shell collections in North Carolina on Saturday, September 22 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Sunday, September 23 from 1:00 to 5:00 PM.

9). Kings Mountain Historical Museum The Kings Mountain Historical Museum’s will open its next exhibit, “Reflections from Civil War Soldiers”, on September 25, 2012. Showcasing the personal letters and papers written by soldiers of the Civil War, the exhibit will be on display until November 9, 2012 at the Kings Mountain Historical Museum (100 E. Mountain Street, Kings Mountain, NC 28086), Tuesday - Saturday, 10AM - 4PM.

10). Cameron Art Museum  presents “CAM 50th and 10th Anniversary Public Day Celebration” on Sun. Sept. 23, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Free and open to the public. Come see CAM’s new exhibits and celebrate our 50 years as part of the Wilmington community and ten years in our current location. Enjoy family hands-on art activities, Vollis Simpson whirligig dedication, music by Possum Creek Bluegrass Band, clay studio exhibition and demos, Civil War reenactors and more.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

NCMC Events From Around the State… September 10, 2012

1). N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences  We all know that praying mantises pray, pose and PULVERIZE their mates (the females anyway), but whether these beautiful and delicate creatures are minding their business, hanging out on a tree or staring at you through your screen door, there’s no denying, this very graceful insect is absolutely fascinating. For that reason, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences celebrates the mantid as our theme bug for “BugFest 2012”. Can you believe these pretty insects are more closely related to cockroaches than grasshoppers? “BugFest”—hailed as the Museum’s biggest event of the year and the largest, one-day, bug-centric event of its kind in the country, will be held on Saturday, September 15 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

2). Museum of the Albemarle  Museum of the Albemarle will hold “Pre-Schooler Time” on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 10:00 am. Participants must be between the ages of 3 to 5 years old and must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-Schoolers will discover what all the colors, stars and stripes represent on the flag of the United States of America, read a book and participate in a hands-on activity.

3). Tryon Palace  presents “Tryon’s Tales for Tots: Piecing it Together” on Wednesday, September 12, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. in the North Carolina History Center, Education Classroom. Cost is $6 per child with one accompanying adult free; additional adults $6. Included with regular admission, ages 3-5, with parental accompaniment. You’re never too young for history! Pre-schoolers and parents will learn about quilting by visiting the Hay House and seeing the quilt the Hay family and their neighbors have been making. Tots will then get to try their hand at quilting by designing their own paper quilt square. Space is limited to 20 children.

4). SECCA  presents “Anne Kesler Shields: 50 Year Retrospective”, opening Friday, September 14, 7pm. Exhibition Celebrates Anne Kesler Shields' Career on view September 14, 2012 – January 6, 2013. Opening FREE on Friday, September 14 @ 7 pm with cash bar and light refreshments. Over the last half of the 20th century and continuing into the 21st, Winston-Salem artist Anne Kesler Shields (b.1932) has steadily applied her considerable talent, rigorous visual-art training and incisive critical intellect toward developing a masterful body of work in two and three-dimensional media. In the year of her 80th birthday, Shields can truly celebrate a career that has yielded remarkable results. This exhibition will bring together work from all stages of her continually evolving practice, along with a catalog that reflects upon her life and accomplishments.

5). Black Mountain College Museum & Art Center invites the community to stop by on Friday, September 14th between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm for a free, eight-hour performance by Curt Cloninger, artist and professor of New Media at UNC Asheville. The performance is called “Pop Mantra #4” (Rain Down on Me). “Pop Mantra” is a series of performances where Curt Cloninger repeatedly performs a short excerpt from a pop song for several hours blindfolded. For the fourth performance in the series, Cloninger will perform the excerpt "rain down on me / from a great height" from the Radiohead song "Paranoid Android" for eight hours.

6). CSS Neuse & Gov. Caswell Memorial  presents “Military Through the Ages” on Saturday, September 15th from 10am-4pm. Look back on many of the wars that shaped our nation by interacting with re-enactors portraying soldiers from the Revolutionary War through World War II. Visitors will be invited to learn about uniforms, accessories, equipment, and weapons that soldiers carried with them during the wars represented.

7). Waterworks Visual Arts Center presents an artist lecture and presentation, Printmaking 101 – An Introduction to Original Printmaking, on Thursday, September 13 from 6:30-8:30 pm. Printmaker and exhibiting artist, John D. Gall (Jamestown, NC) will focus on introducing basic printmaking methods and terms, including examples of each method. A question and answer session will follow. Cost: $5 members, $10 non-members.

8). Weatherspoon Art Museum presents “WAM Jam: UNCG's Sapphires and Spartones” on Thursday, Sep 13, 7pm. WAM Jam returns with a new lineup of free, one hour music performances by UNCG students. We kick-off the year on September 13 with exciting performances by the UNCG Spartones and UNCG Sapphires at 7pm in the Museum atrium. This is a cappella as you've never heard it! Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the Weatherspoon while listening to a capella, jazz and new music. Look for WAM Jam events on select Thursday evenings throughout the academic year.

9). N.C. Center for Nonprofits  A major event for those of us serving in the nonprofit sector as staff and board leaders and volunteers is just next week - the N.C. Center for Nonprofits' 2012 Statewide Conference for North Carolina's Nonprofit Sector, “Transforming Times”, September 13-14 in Research Triangle Park. The Center for Nonprofits has planned two days of rich offerings that will provide you with great learning and an economical professional development opportunity for your staff and board. To register or learn more, visit If you'd like to talk to someone at the Center, please call them directly (Rachel Aiken at 919-790-1555, ext. 100).

10). Natural Science Center of Greensboro  Join the Natural Science Center (NSC) at its first "El Grito" festival to celebrate Mexico's Independence on September 15 and September 16. Visitors of all ages will enjoy this weekend-long, BILINGUAL celebration featuring historical events, activities, arts, crafts, music, dancing and special admission discounts to the Natural Science Center and the Accidental Mummies of Guanajuato traveling exhibit.

11). Asheville Art Museum “Art/Sewn” focuses on works of art in which sewing is integral to the making and viewing experience. The exhibition blurs the distinction between art and craft, as many of today’s fine artists adopt craft forms and techniques and craft artists produce non-functional works. Art/Sewn will be celebrated with an Opening Reception on Friday, September 14 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. (free with Membership or Museum Admission) and will remain on view through Sunday, January 6, 2013 in the Museum’s North Wing. The Opening Reception is preceded by a Gallery Talk at 4:00 p.m. with the guest curator, Ward Mintz, and several featured artists.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

NCMC Events From Around the State… September 3, 2012

1). N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences  They’re bees, they’re banditos, they’re desperate. And they’re coming to a Museum near you. On a remote Japanese island, a beautiful but deranged scientist is breeding insects to take over the world, which is all well and good until her “killer bees” bring down an American plane carrying an H-bomb! Watch the fun that ensues as the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences hosts “War of the Insects” on First Friday, September 7 at 7pm. Free.

2). Weatherspoon Art Museum  presents “Artist Talk: Curtis Mann” on Thursday, Sep 6, 5pm. In a discussion about his current exhibition at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA), Curtis Mann will share insights into his process of physically transforming photographs of the Middle East and North Africa into fluid re-imaginings of perception and place. Curtis Mann: Modifications is on view at SECCA through September 16. This Artist Talk is co-presented by SECCA and will take place in the Weatherspoon’s Dillard room. Seating is limited.

3). Charlotte Museum of History  is excited to announce that it will be open for a one-time special public program on Saturday, September 15, 2012 from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Admission to the museum will be free, with a $5 admission fee for a special tour of the historic Hezekiah Alexander house (free for museum members). Local historic sites and organizations will be at the museum to share their information with the community. Food trucks will also be here, so come hungry! Costumed docents at “An Historic Evening at the Alexander’s” will give guests a peek into the lives of the Alexander family after the sun went down. Learn about evening meals, activities, and entertaining in colonial times. Sunset is anticipated around 7:30 pm, and visitors are encouraged to bring their flashlights.

4). Cape Fear Museum  presents “NC Shell Show” on Saturday, September 22 and Sunday, September 23, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturday and 1:00 to 5:00 PM on Sunday. Fee: Free for members or with Museum admission. Experience the largest gathering of shell collections in North Carolina. Displays include some of the world's most beautiful, unusual and rare shells; as well as exhibits of crafts using shells. Identify your shells. Learn where and how to find shells. Learn how to start a shell collection. Hunt for shells at the shell give-away popular with expert and novice collectors alike. Shop for fine shells from around the world.

5). Historic Oak View County Park Mark your calendars! Historic Oak View County Park is hosting a benefit concert to raise money for the Tenant House Restoration! The Front Porch Fundraiser is on September 22, 2012, 4-7 pm. Three down-home bands - The Iron Mountain Messengers, Kudzu Ramblers, and The Happy Valley Pals - celebrate our heritage with this fun family concert on the lawn. Food will be available for purchase from Chick-N-Que Food Truck. Come on out for a Saturday evening of music, fun, and fundraising! Event admission is FREE, but DONATIONS are ENCOURAGED.

6). Guilford College Art Gallery presents “Stephen Hayes: Cash Crop” - a mixed-media sculptural installation that invites viewers to consider parallels between the historic Atlantic slave trade and Third World sweatshops of today. Show will be displayed from August 20 - December 16, 2012 in the main gallery and Hege Library atrium on the Guilford College campus, 5800 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro, NC 27410.

7). Catawba County Historical Association Association is bringing back its successful event “Stills in the Hills” presenting the county’s colorful moonshine history of Catawba County on September 8, 2012. The historic Murray’s Mill will once again be the setting for an evening event which includes a BBQ dinner, bluegrass bands The Catawba River Boys and Blu Granite, a wine and beer bar, an auction of local pottery whiskey jugs, and a tasting of some commercially produced 'shine produced in North Carolina. Guests will also have the option to take a short bus tour of the Mountain Creek area moonshine running routes while hearing tales about one of Catawba County’s most notorious moonshine families, the Lippards. The tour will include a stop at Balls Creek Campground where in 1912 T. E. “Bud” Lippard called for sympathy from those gathered in the arbor as he declared he had found religion.

8). Museum of the Albemarle  will host author Charles R. Knight of “Valley Thunder: The Battle of New Market and the Opening of the Shenandoah Valley Campaign, May 1864” on Sunday, September 9, 2012 at 2:00 pm in the Gaither Auditorium. Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant intended to attack the Confederacy on multiple fronts so it could no longer “take advantage of interior lines.” One of the keys to success in the Eastern Theater was control of the Shenandoah Valley, a strategically important and agriculturally abundant region that helped feed Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. Grant tasked Maj. Gen. Franz Sigel, to clear the Valley and threaten Lee’s left flank. The book is based upon years of primary research, previously unpublished documents, and a firsthand appreciation of the battlefield terrain.

9). North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort  Come experience a pristine barrier island with a guided hike on Shackleford Banks. Part of the Cape Lookout National Seashore, Shackleford Banks has a rich history involving pirates, Civil War battles and shore based whaling communities, not to mention an array of wildlife that covers endangered species and wild ponies! On Thursday September 6th we will board a water taxi and leave Front Street for a pleasant boat ride to the island. Participants must be at least 6yrs old and accompanied by an adult if under 18. Registration is required and spaces are limited.

10). Waterworks Visual Arts Center  Waterworks Visual Arts Center’s fall exhibition, “The Vocabulary of Printmaking: Its Origins and Techniques” celebrates the rich tradition of fine art printmaking in its many forms including etchings, mezzotints, lithographs, and monoprints. Five artists highlight an exceptional array of printmaking techniques. John D. Gall (Jamestown) tells stories with his art, incorporating figures, symbols, & scientific data in surreal ways. Robert Dunning (UNC- Asheville) blends abstract biomorphic forms with figurative imagery using collage, printmaking, drawing, & painting. Julie Niskanen (Raleigh) focuses on the beauty of forms found in nature. David Faber (Wake Forest University) practices printmaking techniques including intaglio, lithography, relief, monotype, & mixed media. Matthew Thomason (Phoenix, AZ) creates & provides spaces through which the viewer can wander through their own thoughts & memories.