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The Art Of The List 

From Bearden to Brueggers

Best "Bargain" Artists In Charlotte
Some of these artists will one day be famous (in a Big Fish in a Little Pond kind of way). Grab hold while they're rising:

1. Raed Al Rawi. Paints ethereal and comical images of floating beds and flying pigs streaming over shimmering wheat fields. Soft political commentary.

PRICE RANGE: $400-$3,000

GALLERY: The now-closed Sanctuary Art (which will re-open in the Raleigh area sometime this year)

COLLECTED BY: Wily Risktaker

2. Shaun Cassidy. Primarily known as a sculptor; last year began experimenting with landscapes, incorporating rubbings from rocks, plants and trees. He's experimenting with old forms in new dimensions. He gambles -- you don't.

PRICE RANGE: Pieces on paper, $600-$1,800; canvas, start at $4,500

GALLERY: Joie Lassiter

COLLECTED BY: DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Marseilles, France. Plus, reviewed in the New York Times.

3. Leslie Bivens. Caused a bit of a stir for her "Battle Bitches" in the display windows across the street from St. Peter's Episcopal Church. Her work is comical, organic and hard to ignore. High "What's THIS?" quotient.

PRICE RANGE: $400-$2,000

GALLERY: None

COLLECTED BY: Michael and Tracy Jeffcoat

4. Duy Huyhn. Former "tagger" (graffiti artist), UNCC grad. Is a Romantic Symbolist painter who has a natural grasp for caricature. When he finishes building his bridge from low to high art, you can say you helped.

PRICE RANGE: $750-$4,000

GALLERY: Center of the Earth

COLLECTED BY: Those in the know

5. Maja Godlewska. Serious, romantic, eloquent, old world seductive. International Invitee for site-specific commissions. She infuses Piedmont clay with a sense of place and a sensibility of spirit worth the cover charge.

PRICE RANGE: $4,000 and up

GALLERY: Joie Lassiter

COLLECTED BY: Nora and Tom Hughes, Hearst Corporation; Wroclaw Fine Arts Academy Museum in Wroclaw, Poland

-- Scott Lucas

Best Artwork In Charlotte Restaurants

1. Bruegger's Bagel Bakery in Cotswold Mall: Pet portrait paintings by artist Mark Durham.

2. Therapy Marketplace and Cafe, Transamerica Square, 401 North Tryon Street: Ask to sit under the Miro.

3. Dolce Gelato, 1710 Kenilworth Avenue: Charming paintings by Anonymous.

4. Charleys at Cotswold Mall: Works by Charlotte's best maker of prints, Mary Lou Sussman.

5. Queen's Beans Coffee Shop, 1510 Camden Road: Oil paintings by Linda Luise Brown.

-- Scott Lucas

The Most Famous Contemporary Painters With Carolina Connections

1. Jasper Johns (Born Allendale, SC, 1930)

2. Romare Bearden (Born Charlotte, NC, September 2, 1911)

3. Robert Rauschenberg (Student at Black Mt. College, Black Mt., NC, early 1950s)

4. Joseph Albers (Founded and ran Black Mt. College until he closed the school, from 1933-1953)

5. Kenneth Noland (Born Asheville, NC, 1924)

6. William Henry Johnson (Born Florence, SC, 1901)

7. Donald Sultan (Graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill; born Asheville, NC, 1951)

-- Sandy Seawright

Closed Charlotte Art Galleries That We Wish We Still Could "Crawl" In

1. Absinthe Gallery

2. Acanthus Gallery

3. Artefino Gallery

4. Grosse Gallery

5. McDonald Gallery

6. Primitive Treasures Gallery

7. Rococo Fish Gallery

8. 23 Studio

9. Ursa Major Gallery

10. Wrightnow Gallery

-- Sandy Seawright

Top Ways To Tell You're Not An Artist

1. You are not obsessed with one image, medium or method to the point where you can do it over and over again until you get it perfect. (Think Richard Dreyfuss and his mashed potato mountain in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.)

2. You're waiting for the muse to visit you unannounced. And while you're waiting, you watch television.

3. You'd rather be drinking beer in a bar with your buds than alone in a studio, listening to Diane Rehm and drawing the same thing over and over again.

4. You don't have a real job. Take a look around -- I'm guessing Ben Long is the only artist around here who makes a living painting. Artists gotta pay dueslike everybody else before they make the big time, like build a lot of frames, develop a lot of rolls at a one-hour photo, and, yes, pose as a nude model for life class. And then they teach.

-- Jane Grau

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