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A world of international art offerings 

Galleries provide a glimpse of the "other"

Each culture finds intimate expression through its artwork. Often, we dream of leaving behind our mundane, daily routines to travel the globe and experience the richness of these cultures--whether it's drinking caipirinhas on Brazil's hot sandy beaches or contemplating Scotland's rocky shorelines. This month, visitors to the Triangle's art galleries will get a flavor of international culture as artists provide a small taste of some of the world's offerings.

The first stop is Raleigh's Helios Coffee Company, where Brazilian Soul , by photographer Adriano Fagundes, will be displayed through Oct. 31. Fagundes grew up primarily in Brasilia, and has photographed people and places from the tangled jungle of the Amazon to the urban coast of Rio de Janeiro. He has worked with Vogue photographer Arthur Elgort and most recently exhibited at New York City's United Nations building. One piece, "Soccer Boy," is a solemn, black-and-white photograph of a skin-and-bones boy standing in the ocean holding his soccer ball. The picture amplifies what little this boy has in possessions as well as in nourishment. The soccer ball stands out as a symbol to anyone familiar with Brazilian culture, as it is often the only outlet for youth living in extreme poverty.

Brazilian Soul also features paintings by Dermeval da Silva and Marivaldo Santos, two artists from Salvador (the capital of Bahia, a state in the northeast of Brazil). Their work captures the daily life in the feira (market) in Salvador. The show is curated by the Blue Brazil Gallery in Raleigh, the only gallery in the United States dedicated solely to the arts of Brazil. A portion of the sales from Brazilian Soul will support Projeto Tamar, an organization dedicated to the protection of the sea turtles and their communities, and Sister Cicera, a home for the elderly.

Blue Brazil Gallery is located in the home of Al and Suzy Newsom and takes visitors by appointment only. Contact 828-6910, e-mail suzy@bluebrazilgallery.com or visit www.bluebrazilgallery.com . Helios is located at 413 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh. 838-5177 or www.helioscoffee.com .

Portotonic , an exhibit highlighting "themes of travel, displacement and nomadism," will be running at Lump Gallery through Oct. 31. The show features a collection of portable artworks in the uniquely interactive installation style of Chicago-based art collective Tactonic, whose work combines recycled materials, the love of low technology and an interest in social interactions. The members include Huong Ngo ( www.huongngo.com ), Joshua Rosenstock ( www.joshuarosenstock.com ) and Matthew Steinke ( www.matthewsteinke.com ). "We created pieces that are fully portable and can be rapidly deployed," says Rosenstock. "As a group, we are committed to the ideal that art should exist not only in galleries, but be able to function in a variety of settings."

For more information on Portotonic, contact Bill Thelen at 821-9999 or e-mail lumps1@bellsouth.net. 505 S. Blount St., Raleigh. www.lumpgallery.com .

The final Raleigh stop is Seeking Infinity: a Journey to Scotland , featuring oil paintings by Gayle Stott Lowry at the Autonomy Gallery & Studio . The works, although seemingly serene, reflect an underlying emotional turbulence and melancholy in the dark, stormy clouds and rocky shorelines. They are explorations of landscapes from the Hebrides and the Isles of Skye, Mull and Iona, to the lush, mysterious valleys surrounding the Highland Lochs of Scotland. Lowry created many of her landscapes on site--traveling to Scotland to be in tune with memories of her father, a Scottish immigrant who died while she was young. "I see this reconnection with his heritage as a key element of this work," she says.

Fitting titles such as "Letting Go" and "Returning" emphasize the artist's emotional as well as physical journey. The show runs from Oct. 22 to Nov. 20, with an opening reception Friday, Oct. 22 from 7-9 p.m. 1201 W. Lenoir St. 829-0709 or gaylelowry@mindspring.com.

Crook's Corner in Chapel Hill is featuring stunning images of Cuba by Duke's Alex Harris and digitally remastered prints of Walker Evans photography. An internationally acclaimed photographer, Harris' photos taken in Cuba from 1998 to 2003 show anything from portraits of native Cubans to colorful Havana scenes through the windshield of an antique car.

In Evans' photographs, digital technology has allowed exquisite reprints that capture details often overlooked in the original photographs. These limited edition prints will be on display through Nov. 30 at Crook's Corner (at the corner of Franklin Street and Merritt Mill Road). 929-7643 or www.crookscorner.com .

Finally, The Montessori Children's House of Durham (MCHD) celebrates its commitment to art with an Art Party . Meant as an opportunity for Durham's artists and the community to discover one another, the party will display the work of more than 25 local artists. The event is also child-friendly, highlighting children's creativity: children from the school painted chairs based on the work of artists such as Van Gogh and Mondrian. The chairs--in addition to other works of art--will be silently auctioned throughout the day; music, and Tahitian and belly dance workshops will also be featured. Saturday, Oct. 9, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 2400 University Drive, Durham. For more information, contact Kimberly Conley, 489-9045 or kimconley@mchdurham.org, or visit www.mchdurham.org . x

  • Galleries provide a glimpse of the "other"

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