When word hit of the closing of the decade-old gallery LIGHT Art+Design, the local arts community began to mourn the loss of yet another arts space in the Downtown Chapel Hill/ Carrboro neighborhood. But seemingly overnight, LIGHT owner Cindy Spuria revealed a new space, and right next door. Gallery Oneoneone (named after their address, 601 W. Rosemary St. Suite 111) is a contemporary art gallery combined with the Sitzer-Spuria Interior Design Studio.
Louis Watts, primary curator and manager of the gallery, describes the space as, “an example of how to create more space for artists in crowded areas,” referencing the ever-shrinking inventory of exhibit space for local artists throughout the Triangle. Located on the border of Chapel Hill and Carrboro, Oneoneone is an extension of the network of artists nurtured and supported by LIGHT Art+Design.
The idea behind Oneoneone was simple— offer the expertly curated exhibits of LIGHT with Spuria’s interior design studio. High-quality two-dimensional artists exhibit their art, while offering interior design clients the opportunity to purchase the exhibited pieces. The studio features a horseshoe gallery space with an auxiliary wall, and while compact, the natural light and depth of the studio allows for art to breath.
As stated on their website, the goal of Oneoneone is to “offer the increasingly elusive physical space needed for artists to show their work and for collectors, connoisseurs, and the greater community to engage with it directly.”
The gallery exhibits up to three artists’ works at a time, focusing on artwork that flows together and compliments one another, often creating new juxtaposition among pieces.
Watts also curates art for the adjoining lobby of Greenbridge Condominiums. “I want give people unofficial contact with art in places where they least expect it,” said Watts. As of June 14, Watts has provided pieces such as Olivia Ciummo’s We All Carry with Us Our Mothers and several pieces from Anne Lemanski’s five print series In the Garden.
Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, Watts moved to the area to pursue his MFA in Visual Arts at UNC Chapel Hill. Shortly after, he became involved with LUMP Gallery and LIGHT Art+Design. Watts created Gutter Box, an old newspaper box turned into a contemporary art gallery located outside LUMP. Since 2016, Watts has been curating tiny exhibits inside of Gutter Box, featuring work by more than a dozen local artists. His own abstract charcoal drawings can be occasionally found on exhibit in Gutter Box, as well as on the walls of Oneoneone.
As the gallery continues to grow, Watts vows to value local art while also showcasing select artists from outside the region. Although the gallery is booked until 2020, they are constantly looking for more artists to exhibit.
Oneoneone is currently showing its fourth show to date, Jennifer Meanley’s “Everything I Can Fit, in a Dream-Pod” whose vibrant colors create a stark contrast from the modernist décor and design. The show will be on display until September 7, leading into their fall show.