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Artsplosure Arts Festival 2019 Icon - Gray paint swash with butterfly overlaying

2019 Content Coming Soon!

We are currently working on the new website that reflects the 2019 Artsplosure event. In the mean time, please enjoy the information from last year. Check back soon!

May 19-20, 2018

Artwork by over 170 juried fine artists and craftspeople exhibiting original works of art in 10 different categories will be available for purchase, including painting, photography, pottery, jewelry, woodwork and more. Artists’ booths will line Fayetteville St. with performances of Squonk Opera’s Cycle Sonic on City Plaza and musical performances on the Main Stage at the end Fayetteville St at Morgan St. Artsplosure highlights superb performing artists, with an emphasis on jazz, blues, traditional and roots-inspired musicians. Martin Street will also be home to a kid musician stage at Kidsplosure!

Michelle McDowell-Smith Other 2D bear on a bed outdoors

Art Market

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Festival Highlights

Squonk Opera outdoor photo

Squonk Opera's Cycle Sonic

Fayetteville Street
Saturday: 1:00 pm, 3:00 pm, 5:00 pm
Sunday: 11:00 pm, 12:30 pm, 4:00 pm

WakeMed Logo - Title case black serif font with red circle graphic to right and tagline below

Sponsored by: WakeMed
Media Sponsor: GoRaleigh – City of Raleigh Transit

A musical spectacle, performed and human-powered cycle-stages. Cycle Sonic celebrates bicycles with human-powered stages, propelled by original chamber rock music…and human legs!

Sprouting bulb-horns and whirligigs, whistles and bells, these parade floats become instruments of music through the swirl and thump of wheel and pedal. A pageant of double-decker bike-stages creates a merry Cycle Sonic ruckus.

Giant, animated bikers circle the audience, with backdrops of undulating flags and 20-foot legs pumping with the rhythm of sustainable power. With no carbon footprint, Cycle Sonic combines the thrill of a live concert with the world of everyday transit.

Person playing the street piano

Art Pianos

Fayetteville Street
May 19-20

Opendoor Logo - Medium blue sans serif type

Sponsored by: Opendoor
Media Sponsors: The City Insight, Triangle A&E, Spectacular Magazine

A beautifully painted piano in the middle of the street just says PLAY ME! Tickle the ivories and fill the air with music!

People playing drums

Drum Set Karaoke by Drum Team Collective

Fayetteville Street
Sunday: 1:30 pm, 3:30 pm, 5:30 pm

Elliot Davis Logo - Navy blue swoosh and lowercase type

Sponsored by: Elliott Davis
Media Sponsor: Beltline Buzz

Have you always wanted to channel your inner rock star? Come be part of the show with Drum Team Collective™, and play your favorite rock & roll songs with a live band! This unique team building program is fun, empowering, and simple — zero musical experience required.

Be sure to drop by our table to sign up for your time slot… FREE for all Artsplosure visitors (and come back at 4pm for the Local Celebrity Round)! Hosted by Mike McKee, drummer for NC’s own Delta Rae.

Kids posing

Accessible Arts at Artsplosure

Saturday: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

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Arts Access Logo - Black and green sans-serif type with black and green arch over text

Sponsored by: Artspace, Arts Access

Join Artspace and Arts Access for a day of inclusive art, dance and music for people with and without disabilities. Scheduled events include visual art make-and-takes, interactive rhythm experiences led by Greg Whitt, and NC Arts in Action LEAP Team student dance performances. Studio tours and demonstrations will be ongoing throughout the day.

Sensory friendly supports are available. Questions or accommodations requests? Please contact

Woman in front of table with handmade pottery on it

Triangle Potters Guild

Fayetteville Street
Saturday: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sunday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

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Sponsored by: Clark Nexsen
Media Sponsor: Live Work Play

Comprised of professional and recreational potters and ceramists, the organization was formed to the promote the art and craft of ceramics across the region.

Artsplosure Student Art Exhibition

Student Art Exhibition

Fayetteville Street, PNC Plaza Lobby
Saturday: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sunday: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Media Sponsor: Que Pasa

The Student Art Exhibition and activities in the PNC Plaza Lobby are free and open to the public. Original artwork by some of the best Wake County middle and high school student artists.

Person playing guitar made out of old tin can

Pop-Up Artlet

Fayetteville Street
Saturday: 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Sunday: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

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Sponsored by: Smith Moore Leatherwood
Media Sponsor:

Pop-up artistic experiences that encompass the full range of artistic expression, with Poetry Fox, Theatre Raleigh, NC State Crafts Center, Larry’s Ukuleles, Longview School Dancers, Performance Edge and more!

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Light the Woods with Sound

Flowers Field at Dix Park
May 11-13, 18-20, 25-27: 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

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Sponsored by: Office of Raleigh Arts

An interactive, immersive light-music-sound experience, featuring the neon art of Nate Sheaffer, musical and dance creations, children’s activities, food trucks and more! Each night will feature different performers, different musical themes and different experiences.

IMURJ Logo on black background

Artsplosure After Hours Stage at Imurj

Fayetteville Street
Saturday: 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm

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Sponsored by: Carlyle Adams Foundation
Media Sponsor: WKNC 88.1 FM

New works of music and art created during a week-long residency at the Oyster House in Beaufort. Premiere at Artsplosure After Hours at Imurj, 300 S. McDowell Street, Suite A.

Keenan Jenkins

XOXOK (Keenan Jenkins) hails from Carrboro, North Carolina. The music of XOXOK is conceived on the fretboard, cradled in headphones, and cultivated at the microphone. The guitar and vocal influences are far-flung, but cohesive (Jeff Buckley, John Frusciante, Frank Ocean, James Blake). Often armed with just an electric guitar, the live performance is a model of intimacy and presence. With a “warm voice [that] embraces you” (Resonating Tunes), XOXOK delivers a combination of soulful, smooth, and soft tunes laced with unabashed emotion.

Violet Bell

Since forming in March 2016, Violet Bell has played over 200 shows, earning fans from FL to VT with long stretches on the road.

On stage, the energy between Ross and Ruiz-Lopez is fiery, intimate and intuitive. Violet Bell’s live performance is the heart of their work in the studio. On their 2017 debut Dream the Wheel, Ross sings and plays guitar, as Ruiz-Lopez adds violin, viola, cello, keys, guitar and vocal harmonies. The result is alchemical; emotionally evocative music that at times “sounds like a beautiful dream turned sudden nightmare.” (IndyWeekly)

Violet Bell is rooted in the natural world and the community from which they’ve grown. Violet Bell’s outreach efforts include teaching workshops to community and youth orchestras in NC and beyond, and collaborating with youth and community musicians whenever possible.

Rissi Palmer

Since releasing her self-titled CD in October 2007, singer-songwriter Rissi Palmer has received widespread media attention from The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, People Magazine, GIANT, New York Post, VIBE, CBS Saturday Early Show, Huffington Post, Extra, CNN, and many more.

Palmer’s singles “Country Girl,” “Hold On To Me,” and “No Air” were all on the Billboard Country Charts, making her the first African-American woman to have a song on the country charts in 20 years. She recorded an exclusive EP for Starbucks, her videos were fan favorites on CMT and GAC, and she has been an invited performer at the White House and the Grand Ole Opry on numerous occasions. Rissi’s songs have appeared on television shows such as Saving Grace, Army Wives, and Heartland and in the feature film The Woodsman, starring Kevin Bacon.

Linda Starr

Linda Starr is a Raleigh resident and has recently been able to pursue her dreams of becoming a full time artist this past year after retiring. She is currently a member of Sertoma Park Artists Association, Visual Art Exchange – Plein Air Painting group, Triangle Calligrapher’s Guild, Fine Arts League of Cary, Raleigh Urban Sketchers, and the North Carolina Plein Air Painters. She has shown her work at 311 West Martin Street Galleries, the Contemporary Art Museum, Visual Art Exchange, Litmus Gallery (where she has been juried Best in Show), and Tipping Paint Gallery (where she has been juried People’s Choice).

She has recently collaborated with seven other artists on a mural on Glenwood Avenue here in Raleigh. She has volunteered time and artwork for fundraising with Casting for Recovery, a program for breast cancer survivors, and she currently volunteers with Pink Ribbon Yoga Retreats as an artist/teacher.

Judy M Dove

Judy M. Dove is a playwright and veteran Theatre Arts educator who has received numerous awards for Excellence in Directing from the North Carolina Theatre Conference, as well as the NCTC K-12 Theatre Arts Educator Award, the Capital University Alumni Achievement Award, and the 2017 United Arts/Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce Business Support of the Arts Award for Arts Education. She is the Office Administrator at North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre, and serves on the Board of Directors of NCTC, where she is also Secretary. She is a Teaching Artist with the Raleigh Little Theatre and NRACT, and has also been an adjunct professor in the Meredith College Department of Dance and Theatre. She has written a series of plays for youth, based on North Carolina history, which were performed by the Raleigh Little Theatre Storytellers-to-Go! teen performance troupe over the past six years.

Dare Coulter

Dare Coulter was born in Augusta, Georgia and raised in Lorton, Virginia. In December 2015 she graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor’s of Art + Design. Dare found her passion in sculpture through training with adjunct professor Holly Fischer at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC, and Dare considers herself a graduate of Meredith College as well. At twenty-five years old Dare is at the beginning of her career. Dare is primarily a figurative ceramic sculptor, but she works in a diverse range of fields and media including drawings, paintings, and murals. Dare has won more than 60 awards. Most recently she completed her first permanent outdoor mural in Raleigh, NC on the back of the historic Boylan-Pearce building, and was selected as the inaugural fellow for the Jo Ann Williams Artist Fellowship in association with the Black on Black Project. Her mission is to have a mural on every continent within the next two years, and a monumental sculpture commission every year.

Over-sized chess game set out on the grass


Fayetteville Street
Saturday: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sunday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Smith Anderson Logo - Dark turquoise and black uppercase text

Sponsored by: Smith Anderson Blount Dorsett Mitchell & Jernigan LLP
Media Sponsor: WCPE The Classical Station

Challenge a friend to a game of larger-than-life chess!

Nanjing collage of performers

Nanjing Week

Fayetteville Street
Sunday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Sponsored by: Carolina China Council

Explore the diverse heritage, traditions, contemporary visual arts and fine crafts, and the music and dance of China’s dynamic and culturally rich region: Interactive Chinese handicraft demonstrations in the Nanjing tent, 400 block of Fayetteville Street;

Art and Photography Exhibition and Nanjing Virtual Reality Experience
10:00 – 6:00, Sunday, May 20
Room 302C, Raleigh Convention and Conference
500 S. Salisbury Street.

Nanjing Splendors, a Music, Dance, Magic and Acrobatic Showcase
7:30, Monday, May 21
Fletcher Theatre, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
2 E. South Street

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