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May 2022 Arts InFocus

MAY 2022

Each month, ArtsGreensboro brings you stories about artists, arts organizations, and individuals whose lives are infused with creativity. Join us in celebrating our vibrant city.

Artist in Focus

Katie Podracky, Visual Artist

Artist Katie Podracky standing in front of her painting.

Like most people, Katie Podracky found herself looking for a new hobby during the 2020 lockdowns. A spontaneous day trip to Haw River state park quickly turned into an NC state park challenge. The Podracky family raced across North Carolina, discovering each of the 41 state parks as shutdowns spread across the state. The family was making significant progress when a close friend raised the stakes: a painting per park. With her extensive background in art, Katie accepted the challenge.

The painting, "Miles to go Before I Sleep".

Katie graduated from Washington and Lee University with a double major in biology and art. She then pursued a master’s in art at Savannah College of Art and Design and later education at UNC Pembroke. With this impressive background in art, Katie taught art in public schools for several years. Rekindling her connection with art helped her adjust to life with children. 

The painting entitled, "Away" by Katie Podracky

“I could have lost myself to motherhood,” says Katie. “Painting is my time to do what I want. It makes me feel human.”

Prior to the state park challenge, Katie mainly used oils on large canvases, but she switched to gouache and watercolors during her travels. She now sells a combination of these pieces in her online print shop, Katie Wall Art. On her website, she sells both her originals and prints, while also offering commissioned pieces.

Recently received an Artist Support Grant from ArtsGreensboro which helped her launch her print shop and all the supplies she needs for her studio. “I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity to grow and expand my passion with the world,” she says. Donations to the ArtsGreensboro ArtsFund help artists like Katie upgrade equipment and technology to help their careers flourish.

“Art is energizing,” Katie exclaims when asked about her passion for art. She recently began offering online classes to inspire others. She encourages artists at all skill levels to take time out to paint. Lessons are shared on her website, allowing viewers to advance at their own pace.Katie Podracky's painting hanging in a dining room.

For more information about Katie Podracky, her print shop, and online classes, visit www.katiewallart.com. To donate to the ArtsFund and support artists like Katie, visit artsgreensboro.org/donate-artsfund/.

Grantee Highlight

Triad Pride Performing Arts

group photo of all TPPA chorusesIn late 1998, Anthony Moore, Chip Alfred, and Alexis Kiger (who had been driving to the Triangle to sing with the nearest gay men’s chorus) joined forces to begin a similar group in Greensboro. The group had its first concert at NC Pride in June 1999 as the Triad Pride Men’s Chorus. Following an outpouring of interest from the community in 2016, a sister chorus was established under the name of the Triad Pride Women’s Chorus, and the organization officially changed its name to Triad Pride Performing Arts. During their 20th anniversary season, TPPA founded the Triad Pride Acting Company to present plays and musicals on LGBTQ+ themes.

Triad Pride Performing Arts consists of LGBTQ+ people and their allies, who perform to entertain, enlighten, and enrich while promoting equality and social justice for all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity – fostering pride, understanding, and acceptance.

Join TTPA for their upcoming shows! From May 20-29, TPPA will present the musical Falsettos, and on June 18th, our choruses will present their first live, in-person concert since 2019. TPPA welcomes new members in August to join their groups.

Visit triadprideperformingarts.org to learn more about membership and upcoming performances!

Arts Happening

Greensboro Bound Literary Festival

The Greensboro Bound Literary Festival will present 55 authors May 19-22 at locations in Downtown Greensboro and on the campuses of UNCG and N.C. A&T State University. Admission is FREE to all events, but advanced RVSP ticketing is available.

Over the Festival’s four days, nationally recognized authors from Greensboro, North Carolina, and across the country will speak, read, and interact with audiences. The Festival starts May 19 at UNCG’s Elliott University Center with “An Evening with Amor Towles,” (The Lincoln Highway).

Of the 55 authors, 28 are BIPOC (Black, indigenous, people of color), comprising 51% of the presenters. Among those authors are the 2021 National Book Award Winner for Fiction and North Carolina native Jason Mott, and North Carolina Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green. The complete list of authors is available at greensborobound.com.

Author Nicole Hannah-Jones

Also, in a partnership with N.C. A&T’s F.D. Bluford Library, Nikole Hannah-Jones, writer for the New York Times Magazine, and the Creator of The 1619 Project will present at NC A&T’s Harrison Auditorium on May 21.

In addition to African American perspectives, the Festival presents Asian, Indigenous, Palestinian, Latino, and LGBTQ voices (and more) to the community. The Festival will conclude on Sunday, May 21 with NYT bestselling author Ann Hood (Fly Girl) in conversation with Julia Ridley Smith (The Sum of Trifles). For the 2022 reading list, click here.

Again, admission is free to all events, but advanced RVSP ticketing is highly encouraged.

AG Making it Happen

The ArtsFund

logo reading: "when you support the arts, creativity happens"ArtsGreensboro is a community-supported arts agency that works to raise funds annually to provide resources to artists and arts organizations. It takes a community to ensure that the arts are here for generations to come. Staff, volunteers, donors, board members, local and state governments, businesses, foundations, corporations, and audiences all work together to support the amazing and diverse arts and culture scene here in Greensboro.

The arts are everywhere here. They are part of our DNA, and they need our help. Whether you support the arts through a contribution, by buying a ticket to an event, or by stopping to admire our local street art, you are the solution that keeps our arts community alive and thriving.

ArtsGreensboro has been raising money through contributions to the ArtsFund for decades. We are grateful to all who support the ArtsFund. On behalf of the hundreds of local artists and arts organizations, we thank you for your continued support and love. Because of your donations, ArtsGreensboro supports arts organizations, artists, and teachers through grants, shared services, and professional development.

Donations to the ArtsFund are just one way to show you care; make sure to also share art experiences with your family and friends. Attend something new, experience something different. The arts are here for everyone, and they give so much more in return.

For more information about what ArtsGreensboro is doing to serve our city through the arts, visit artsgreensboro.org. To show your love for the arts, give what you can to the annual ArtsFund at artsgreensboro.org/donate-artsfund/.

various paint buckets

My Art Story

Catena, Bergevin, Local Arts Advocate

headshot of Catena BergevinWhen I was growing up, we never hired a repair person because my father could fix anything. Now, mind you, it wasn’t always pretty to look at, but he kept it working. That’s where my mother came in. She was an artist. So when the enamel (yes, it was THAT old) on our refrigerator started to chip, my mother painted yellow roses to cover up the spots. When the interior of our car started to fade and rip from age, my mother connected each tear with painted vines and leaves. Our patio and walkways were covered with dots that made the cracks and concrete fillers seem less noticeable, almost playful. Even the fire hydrant in front of our house was painted a patriotic red, white, and blue.

Our house became a living gallery of shapes, colors, and designs. It makes sense that all of us, myself and my three brothers, fell in love with the arts. Many of us made a career out of it. This is how art came into my life. It was an answer, a solace, a narrative, a reason, a need, and vital to my quality of life.flowers in hand painted cans