Cary Arts Center Dedication

 The long wait is over! The Cary Arts Center is now open for business, celebrating its dedication on Aug. 13-14. After about a decade of planning and a year of construction and renovations, the facility has a myriad of offerings for those interested in the arts.

Aug. 13 will feature a cornerstone and dedication ceremony at 2 p.m., along with art exhibits, class samplers, open rehearsals, children’s activities and building tours throughout the day. The evening concludes with the premiere of Cary Youth Video Project at 5:30 p.m. and a free concert by Larkin Poe at 7:30. A roundtable discussion with artists involved in the renovation of the building will be held Aug. 14 at 3 p.m.

Offerings at the Cary Arts Center, with nearly 50,000 square feet, are plentiful. Children and adults can attend classes and workshops on various arts, from painting to woodwork to clay. New studio space will allow people to independently work on unfinished projects outside of class hours. Cultural arts groups without independent offices can also use space in the building for file storage and office work.

Here’s a glimpse at some of the offerings at the Cary Arts Center:

Glass art in the lobby depicts photos of class activities from the early 1900s.

Supervisor Robbie Stone shows off a series of stunning photos from three Cary Photographic Artists members who documented the process of demolition and renovation. Photos are on display throughout the center.

Graduating classes from Cary High School made collages of senior portraits, some of which are on display. Locker doors were also preserved as wainscoting in areas of the building.

Schoolhouse artifacts were preserved for display within the building as well.

Public art gracing the outside of the theater and fly tower was inspired by the harlequin pattern and “offers a nod to quilting in North Carolina with the piecework nature of its design,” according to Stone.

The building’s theater, with nearly 400 seats, has performances booked every weekend for the upcoming year. A mini orchestra pit can accommodate a condensed ensemble, and a textile lab yields a full costume shop.

The location has housed a schoolhouse since the original wooden building was constructed in the 1870s. It was later replaced with a masonry building, then the current brick structure in 1938. It formerly housed Cary High School, followed by Cary Elementary School since 1960.

Atop the theater sits a fly box, where scenery can be raised off the stage.

Leah Jensen, 13, works on her mosaic project with a stained glass art teacher during a summer camp.

A student spins a clay bowl at an adult clay art class.

Cary Arts Center
101 Dry Avenue
(919) 469-4069

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