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Musician Caitlin Cary Records Urban Fabric of Raleigh

RALEIGH. Fans of Ryan Adams’ early nineties ‘alternative country’ sound will know the name Caitlin Cary. The violinist and singer landed in the city’s music scene with the highly popular band, Whiskeytown, fronted by Adams. Cary originally moved from Texas to the Carolinas to study creative writing, but her musical talents quickly took center stage.

Cary Caitlin continues to call Raleigh home and has gotten to know the city well over the past two decades. While remaining active in the North Carolina music scene, she has expanded her creative efforts as a visual artist. She’s recording the city’s landmarks and fragile built environment with embroidery and upholstery fabric swatches. We had to share her designs.

Caitlin Cary, Krispy Kreme, Raleigh, NC, 2015 25″x31″ (Private collection of Julie & Andrew Snee)

Cary’s upholstery fabric swatches form a collage that leads our eye to the macro skyline of Raleigh and then to the neighborhood view of evening light when cast on a brick wall. We get to see the North Carolina sweetheart, Krispy Kreme, ‘getting up to make the donuts.’ Tabernacle Baptist Church forever gets to stand tall at the intersection of the secular and profane.

The musician is also an activist for many quality-of-life and civil rights issues. Most recently she became a cofounder of a group that lifts a corner of the state-wide artists’ political protest banner, NC Music Love Army. Cary has previously released several acclaimed albums: a collection of duets with Thad Cockrell, two albums with the girl group Tres Chicas, and an EP with The Small Ponds. Her violin and vocals evoke a melancholy not unfamiliar to most who live in the complex South. Listen to a sample of her music HERE

Raleigh

Caitlin Cary (Formerly) The Jewel Box, Rocky Mount, NC, 2016 17″x25″ mounted on wood panels

North Carolina is a rich source for upholstery fabric scraps, given it’s long history in the furniture business, and this artist has found a wonderful way to help us see the soul of Raleigh, one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. Caitlin Cary’s songs and stitches remind us that our communities are places where many colorful threads come together.

Cary’s studio is at ArtSpace, a successful repurposing of a brick building that was once Raleigh’s livery and later Sander’s Ford Car Dealership. The artist organization uses the CSA model familiar to those close to the farm-to-table movement to engage community members in buying shares of art that support eight resident artists. ‘Community Supported Art’ is similar to ‘community supported agriculture.’ Members through their CSA get eight works of art. Today this 30,000 square foot facility is home to over 30 artists working in a variety of media, along with three exhibition spaces, education space, a gift shop, and administrative offices. Artspace is one of the largest open studio environments in the country and a significant cultural attraction in North Carolina. Read Caitlin Cary’s recent artist profile in the Raleigh News Observer HERE. 

CRAWLSPACE PRESS
Cary and her husband, drummer and graphic design artist Skillet Gilmore, are anchors in the Raleigh arts scene. Gilmore’s screen printing poster business, Crawlspace Press, began as a way to promote the couple’s musical gigs. Gilmore’s design work quickly became in demand by other musicians. The promotional posters are known for their cool use of typeface and original designs. See a gallery of the highly collectible posters from Crawlspace HERE.

RALEIGH FESTIVALS
Cary founded Insplosure, an indoor craft and art market that takes place during downtown Raleigh’s festival Artsplosure each May. In addition, as an offshoot of Raleigh’s Hopscotch Music Festival, Cary developed Shopscotch artist market and her husband created Posterscotch to showcase music poster design.

Hopscotch Music Festival is coming up Sept. 8-10, 2016 in Raleigh and packs in more than 100 performances across all genres in a mere three days. In conjunction with Hopscotch, our design savvy readers will appreciate Hopscotch Design Festival, (Sept. 8-9, 2016) with keynote Dan Heath (author of Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die).

Caitlin Cary, (Formerly) Tabernacle Baptist Church, Raleigh

Those interested in her design process can listen to this WUNC recording of Cary discussing the various landmarks she has interpreted in art and their stories. “Collage, made by sewing fabric on to paper, is very much a friend of the quilt,” she says. She works from photographs which she draws on to isolate architectural and natural elements, planning what to emphasize in her composition. Cary then cuts the photograph to create her main patterns. She adds freehand bare needle embroidery with the sewing machine to elevate the ordinary as beautiful and add detail and depth. Listen HERE.

“Finding the right fabric that evokes a mood of a place has been the most fun of all of this.”

North Carolina is a rich source for upholstery fabric scraps, given it’s long history in the furniture business, and this artist has found a wonderful way to help us see the soul of Raleigh, one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. Caitlin Cary’s songs and stitches remind us that our communities are places where many colorful threads come together.

To view and purchase Caitlin Cary’s Needle Prints, visit her website: CaitlinCary.comShe takes commissions if you have a sacred or fond place to frame.

Morts BEST

Caitlin Cary,  Mort’s Trophy, Raleigh, NC, 2016 16″x20″ mounted on wood panels

almonds BEST

Caitlin Cary, Downtown Rocky Mount, NC, 2016 18″ x 24″ mounted on wood panels