Community invited to celebrate the arts at VGCC on October 14th, 2015

Artist Eric McRay in his studio.

Artist Eric McRay in his studio.

Vance-Granville Community College will hold its first-ever “Fine Arts Day” on Wednesday, Oct. 14, in multiple locations on the college’s Main Campus in Vance County. The day’s activities will all be free of charge and open to the public.

According to Betsy Henderson, VGCC’s Department Chair/Instructor of Humanities and Fine Arts, the purpose of the event is “to celebrate the arts and arts education, showcase VGCC students and the arts programs we offer, and partner with talented local artists and organizations.”

October is National Arts and Humanities Month, a time when artistic and cultural organizations traditionally open their doors to connect with their communities.

The special guest and keynote presenter for Fine Arts Day will be Raleigh-based professional visual artist Eric McRay.

McRay received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the Maryland Institute College of Art, where he earned a four-year scholarship. In 1998, he was juried into Raleigh’s prestigious Artspace. Since opening his Artspace studio in downtown Raleigh, McRay has served in the offices of Vice-President and President of the Artspace Artists Association, and served on Artspace’s board of directors.

McRay’s artistic career ha been featured on TV and radio programs, and in numerous newspapers, websites and magazines, such as Fortune Small Business, Art Business News, Southern Living and Our State. The News & Observer named him one of the “Artists to Watch” in 2001. Numerous times he has been listed among the “Best Local Artist” by Metro Magazine and listed as the “Favorite Local Artist” by the Triangle Downtowner Magazine. McRay’s art is featured in many public and private collections, locally, nationally and internationally.

Fine Arts Day will begin in the small auditorium in Building 2 at 9:45 a.m., with welcoming remarks from VGCC Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs Dr. Angela Ballentine. Then, McRay will begin a master painting demonstration and take questions from the audience. He will later move to the VGCC Civic Center at 11 a.m., where he will judge the college’s first-ever student juried exhibition of art and provide feedback to the artists.

At 11:30 a.m., Granville Little Theatre will present a production of the comedy, “I Hate Shakespeare,” in the small auditorium. That will be followed at 1 p.m. in the same location with a preview of a portion of the upcoming VGCC Drama production of “The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged).” VGCC Drama will then present an improvisation workshop.

In the Civic Center, the VGCC Music Scholars, students who have received special music scholarships, will perform from noon until 12:30 p.m., followed by the show choir from Northern Vance High School from 12:30 until 1 p.m. Alecia Lakernick of Henderson-based Ballet Arts will present a master class in ballet dance from 1 until 2 p.m.

Between 12:30 and 1:45 p.m., in the art classroom in Building 5, VGCC art instructor Isaac Talley will lead a workshop that will result in the creation of a mural project to commemorate the day.

The event concludes in the Civic Center at 2 p.m. with Betsy Henderson making closing remarks and announcing awards for the art exhibition.

For more information about Fine Arts Day, contact Betsy Henderson at or (252) 738-3371.