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Reunion show to bring back final 6 Sunflower Studio artists

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WAKE FOREST — When the Sunflower Studio & Gallery, a popular art studio in Wake Forest, closed its gallery in 2016 to make more room for more community art lessons, the six resident artists still using the space moved on to other opportunities.

Nancy Farantatos, Barbara Crockett and Margaret Roth now display their art at the Cotton Company. Delphine Peller is a resident artist at Southern Suds & Gifts. The two that remain involved with the Sunflower Studio are Gayle Blackerby and owner Linda Burrell, who spend much of their time managing paint parties and art lessons at the Jones Avenue location.

“Although the change was hard, each artist was able to relocate their studios in Wake Forest,” Crockett said. “These final six artists have enjoyed support, encouragement and a special friendship that has continued after their years together at the Sunflower.”

On Friday, these women — the final six Sunflower Studio resident artists — will reunite for an art show and collaboration at The Corner of Wake Forest. It will be the first time their art will be displayed together in four years.

Marty and Debbie Ludas, owners of The Corner, invited the six artists to revisit their collaboration days, according to Crockett. The “Final 6 Artist Reunion” show and art sale will be from 5-9 p.m. at 102 North Ave., Wake Forest.

The show will include music from the duo Mister Felix (Mary Catherine and Robert Woessner), who often performed at the Sunflower Studio when the gallery used to open to the public during Wake Forest’s Art After Hours events. There will also be refreshments.

After Friday’s event, the art show will continue at The Corner until March 21.

Burrell said after she made the difficult decision to stop renting space in the Sunflower Studio to other artists, she “thought that was it.”

“This is a very nice surprise that Debbie and Marty Ludas invited us to come back and have this reunion show together,” Burrell said. “I think a lot of people in this community remember us as a group.”

More than 100 artists have displayed work in the Sunflower Studio during the 16-year life of its gallery, Burrell said.

“Sometimes I really miss it,” Burrell said. “However I just realized I didn’t have time to do my own work.”

She said she hopes people come out to the show, enjoy the work and purchase paintings to support local artists.

“It’s a very happy occasion and it’s very exciting to be with some of the people who have been in the Sunflower and it’s good to be around their creativity and talent,” Burrell said.