Image of NC Author Belle Boggs
Courtesy of Belle Boggs

Infertility affects one in eight couples in the United States, according to Resolve: The National Infertility Association. That statistic amounts to millions of Americans, but despite the high numbers, many keep their struggle private. For many years writer Belle Boggs was one of those individuals.

Photo of "Black Flag (For Elizabeth’s)," by Skylar Fein
Courtesy of the artist and Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana.

The American South is rooted in a complex social, political and cultural history. For some, images of the South include tobacco, barbecue and bluegrass, while others also envision a South forever grappling with a complicated history of racial discrimination.

The exhibit "Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art" includes 120 works from 60 artists that challenge myths about the South and explores it's wide range of perspectives.

Photo of a young Tarish Pipkins
Courtesy of Tarish Pipkins

Tarish Pipkins describes puppetry as composing a symphony in 3-D, and one quick glimpse at his work clarifies exactly what he means. Pipkins' puppets are incredibly complex, but they move in both a realistic and graceful way.

Photo of Sylvia Gray outside her surplus store turned thrift shop

Sylvia Gray was an entrepreneur of ephemera. Decades after she and her husband opened a surplus store in downtown Greensboro, she turned the business into a three-story thrift shop that she filled by taking twice-daily trips to the local Salvation Army.

A completed Earthcasting installation in Portland, Oregon by sculptor Thomas Sayre.
Courtesy of MINNOW MEDIA

Sculptor Thomas Sayre tackles work that is exceptional.

His giant sculptures use the earth as a casting mechanism. Although his art is unusual, it is not solitary.

photo of "Woodstock" by Burk Uzzle
Burk Uzzle

Burk Uzzle remembers taking pictures at the bus station when he was just a teenager living in eastern North Carolina. In high school, he worked part-time as a photographer for the News & Observer and eventually became the youngest photographer hired by LIFE magazine. Throughout the years, Uzzle captured iconic images of Martin Luther King Jr. and Woodstock, and his archive now spans six decades and prominently features images of his Southern roots.

photo of FRANK Gallery Karen Youth Art Group
Karen Youth Art Group

North Carolina is home to a growing Karen community, an ethnic minority from Burma that has been forced out of their country due to war. Many of these refugees call the Triangle home, and for the past six years, they have been incorporating their traditional farming techniques in growing both local and Asian produce at the Transplanting Traditions Farm, a five-acre plot of land in Chapel Hill.

photo of "Ordinary People," by Min Zaw
Courtesy of Ian Holliday

For most of the past 50 years, Myanmar has been under a military dictatorship and subsequently cut off from the western world. But the country is now in a time of transition after democratic elections last year.

An image of the painting "Gassed" by John Singer Sargent
Courtesy of David Lubin

World War I was called the "war to end all wars." And many artists expressed their frustration with or support of the war through paintings, sculptures, films and posters in the years following the conflict.

In his new book, "Grand Illusions: American Art and the First World War" (Oxford University Press/2016), David Lubin shows two dozen artists' interpretation of World War I and how the war influenced popular media.

Nedda Ibrahim

More than 100,000 Iraqi refugees have resettled in the United States in the past decade. But for the most part their stories are underreported and their life experiences are invisible to the wider American public. An art exhibit on view at William Peace University this weekend tries to change that by shining light on the work of 10 refugee artists whose work represents the rich and storied history of Iraqi art, and the diverse experiences of Iraqi refugees settled in the Americas.

Isle of Shoals
North Carolina Museum of Art

Childe Hassam was an incredibly prolific impressionist painter who made thousands of works throughout his career. A great majority of his paintings document the life and landscape of Appledore Island, a small island off the coast of Maine and New Hampshire.  A collection of 39 of these paintings is on view at the North Carolina Museum of Art until June 19.

Host Frank Stasio talks about the exhibit “American Impressionist: Childe Hassam and the Isles of Shoals” with curator John Coffey, art historian Kathleen Burnside, and marine biologist Hal Weeks.

The Knights is a NYC-based orchestral collective that's flexible in size and repertory. Their concert opens the inaugural season of new Asheville-based arts organization Free Range Asheville.
Sarah Small

Asheville is quickly becoming a go-to national destination for music, art and culture.

And the new organization “Free Range Asheville” is aiming to make the city’s cross-disciplinary art scene accessible to people of all ages and economic backgrounds.

They open their inaugural season with a performance by “The Knights,” an orchestral collective that is adapting classical music for a modern audience.

Killo, Raleigh, NC, 2015
Caitlin Cary

Caitlin Cary is best known as a violinist, singer and songwriter who broke out with the band Whiskeytown. She later joined Tres Chicas, the NC Music Love Army, and other groups, but she says that while she was out on the road with her music, she always had to keep her hands busy working on a craft project.

'Day and Night,' 1938, woodcut in black and gray, printed from two blocks, 15 3/8 x 26 5/8 in.
The M.C. Escher Company

Dutch-born printmaker M.C. Escher was a meticulous artist who drew inspiration from landscapes and the natural world. Although he had no formal scientific training, his work features complex mathematical objects and scenarios.

The exhibit “The Worlds of M.C. Escher: Nature, Science, and Imagination” on view at the North Carolina Museum of Art through January is the most comprehensive Escher exhibition ever presented in the U.S.

Leah Sobsey scanned birds from the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences collections. Pictured are indigo bunting (Passerina cyanea) birds.
Leah Sobsey

From scanning dead birds to the photo that got away, the Click! Triangle Photography Festival gives a snapshot of the local photography scene.

It includes more than 60 events at more than 30 venues throughout October.

Ian Dawson's '1365' is made from plastic. The museum purchased it in 2004, and UNC-Greensboro students use this in 'Art of Seeing' workshops to merge art and science.
Weatherspoon Art Museum

Classroom lectures are only a part of the education of students in the healthcare field. 

The Art of Seeing” program through the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the Weatherspoon Art Museum gets students out of the classroom by combining contemporary art and science.

Raleigh Little Theatre

In the last decade, there has been a surge of new work from African-American artists in the Triangle.

But they are still grappling with a limited number of platforms, especially in the performing arts. The amount of talent is booming, but the number of roles for African-Americans is not keeping up.

Now, a group of black artists in the Triangle is trying to bridge that gap through a forum that brings artists together with local entrepreneurs and art lovers who are craving new modes of expression.

Durham Art, Mariott City Center, Durham Sculpture
Leoneda Inge

Durham community leaders, artists and residents are working to make sure downtown remains people-friendly as it grows.

After a year of getting to know Durhamites, award-winning Landscape Architect and Environmental Artist Mikyoung Kim presented an art infused vision plan for downtown Durham.  Kim’s job was to connect the corridor between the Old Durham Bulls Ballpark and the new one.

Image of Chapman in Shanghai with Professor Meihua Zhu, on the left, a former visiting scholar at UNC.
Mimi Chapman

The power of art is not lost on Mimi Chapman. She is a professor at the UNC School of Social Work who believes that art can have a profound impact on people’s ability to empathize. She also studies how art can help illuminate conscious and unconscious biases and affect how people treat one another.

Potter Ben Owen, III, in his element.
Ben Owen Pottery

Pottery is one of the signature art forms of the Tar Heel State.

From the mountains to the coast, the unique clays of the Carolinas give potters creative materials to create exceptional work. 

Dig It! The Secrets of Soil, a new exhibition at the Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, highlights the materials of pottery through the work of Seagrove potter Ben Owen III.

Flickr/Fredrik Rubensson

Media consumers now have more information at their fingertips than ever before, and there is far more news available than any one person could possibly absorb. Writers and journalists are pushed to communicate more succinctly and shorten stories in order to pique readers’ attention.

But a group of artists are trying to buck this trend with an online venue that encourages writers to do exactly the opposite. At Length is a forum for long-form, in-depth writing, art, music and photography.

Ursula Vernon's "Self-portrait."
Ursula Vernon

Ursula Vernon considers herself a “creator of oddities,” but she fell into this career by accident.

Her mother was a professional artist, so the artistic lifestyle held no mystery or appeal to her; she wanted to be a scientist. But after taking one art class in college she realized that art was her true calling.

Vernon has since authored a long-running text and graphic novel children’s book series called Dragonbreath and an award-winning adult comic called Digger.  

Host Frank Stasio talks to Ursula Vernon about her career, artistic style, and latest book “Castle Hangnail” (Dial Books for Young Readers/ 2015).

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun's smiling self-portrait.
Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun / Wikimedia Commons

A white-toothed smile is a gesture that many likely engage in dozens of times a day without thought. Historian Colin Jones traced the history of the smile and found a toothy smile is a relatively young phenomenon. 

In his recent book, "The Smile Revolution In Eighteenth Century Paris," he argues that the white-tooth smile emerged in 18th century Paris in conjunction with the cult of sensibility and the creation of modern dentistry.

Olympia Stone's film 'Curious Worlds' follows artist David Beck.

Artist David Beck carves, sculpts, paints and creates playful and imaginative creatures from dragonflies to elephants.

Much of his art is miniature, in contrast to the sculptures of many of his contemporaries. He has been praised as a “master craftsman and ingenious mechanic.”

Olympia Stone's latest film goes inside the magical world of miniature architect David Beck. 

Kehinde Wiley, 21c Museum
Leoneda Inge

Downtown Durham has been the home of one hotel for a long time - the Marriott.  But now there are two.  A second hotel held a ribbon-cutting this week in a very historic spot.

The new boutique hotel is called 21c Museum Hotel Durham.  It stands in what folks call the old CCB or Sun Trust Building.  The 18-story hotel was designed by the same architects who designed the Empire State Building.