Emily Hilliard, a master's student in folklore at UNC, started organizing this monthly old-time jam during the past year, calling on her folk cohorts and the breadth of traditionally bent musicians in the area to join ranks and come trade songs. What's special about this session is that unlike open mics, it offers a chance for people of all skill levels to come play collectively, learning a few tunes in the process. You're almost guaranteed to hear an old favorite such as "Soldier's Joy" or "Cluck Old Hen"—but expect a hand-me-down tune not already in your repertoire, too. "The mix of instruments varies each month, and sometimes is a little funny," says Hilliard. "On occasion we've seemed to have a fiddle orchestra, or last month we had at least five mandolins and one guitar, which is unusual." She's also welcomed a few mountain dulcimers, upright and washtub basses, and even cloggers. —Ashley MelzerFree
A Chicago trio invades Lump Gallery for the month of May. Mark Jackson/Tony Lewis/John Neff collects drawings by the first two of those artists and a foray into sound by the noted photographer Neff, whose handmade digital cameras have drawn attention. Neff's sound installation eschews the visual entirely in favor of voices in darkness.
Joomi Chung's Surfaces is a sprawling, topographical 1,500-square-foot floor installation made of recycled rubber at Artspace. Do you really need to know more to want to see that? Hundreds of cut rubber forms are layered to evoke maps and landscapes that mess with your sense of scale. Former Artspace studio artist Melinda Fine layers text to create a quieter, contemplative effect in Text Terra, showing how her studies in literature and design have sifted together over her career.
Jason Craighead ventures into three-dimensional installation at Flanders Gallery. Text particularly steps to the fore in Craighead's new paintings; their emotional and pictorial storminess parts with more frequency to reveal the legible. Scott Hazard's sculptural work conversely reads as a three-axis gridded painting, taking you into pristine regions of the surreal.
Adam Cave Fine Art opens two small shows. In the gallery, The Figure Revealed gathers the work of five artists celebrating the human form. Mikio Watanabe, Roberta Goschke, Diana Bloomfield, Stephen Smith and Stephen Early show prints, drawings, paintings, photography and sculpture. And around the corner at the SWA Consulting Gallery, 311 S. Harrington St., Andrew Ross' large-format photography is on display.
CAM Raleigh offers free admission again this First Friday opening its annual Teen Art Exhibition amid the festive frenzy of food trucks along Martin Street. Ryan Travis Christian's work is still in the downstairs gallery if you've not seen it yet. —Chris Vitiellowww.godowntownraleigh.com