Mackay

"Basket Seller," by Jessie Mackay

The Arts Council of Moore County and Campbell House Galleries will reopen on June 1 with an art exhibit, “Travels in Tanzania,” featuring colorful impressionist scenes by Pinehurst artist Jessie Mackay. The artwork will be on display from June 1 through July 15 on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Jessie Mackay is no stranger to the Moore County art scene. She was born to British parents in Washington, D.C., and spent her early years in England and Connecticut. She now lives in Pinehurst and travels the world seeking inspiration for her next series of paintings, including her travels to Tanzania in 2019.

For the past eight years, Mackay has been traveling and holding art shows to raise funds and awareness for Karimu, a nonprofit co-founded in 2008 by Jessie and her friend, Tally Bandy. Karimu focuses on women’s empowerment and has more than 3,000 women earning incomes, which helps them meet their basic needs.

“My love of Africa goes back to the ’80’s when I first traveled there,” says Mackay. “I rode with friends across Malawi into Zambia on horseback. It was then that I saw how so many people live a spare existence and have to struggle to get through the days. These paintings illustrate some of the scenes close to my heart. That’s why part of these art sales will go to the Arts Council and Karimu, our nonprofit.”

The “Travels in Tanzania” exhibit will mark the first time the Campbell House Galleries and the Arts Council have been open since March 13.

While a traditional First Friday gallery reception will not be offered, the Arts Council will present a live gallery stroll with the artist on Friday, June 5, at 6 p.m. through the Arts Council’s Facebook page, at Facebook.com/TheArtsCouncil.

“We’re excited to reopen our galleries,” says Chris Dunn, Arts Council executive director, “but, we also must protect our staff and visitors. To do this, the Arts Council will abide by the state’s orders in hopes that all visitors will feel safe.”

In addition to a thorough cleaning of the entire first floor of the Campbell House, the following precautions will be in place to visit the galleries: Daily cleaning of frequently used surfaces; all staff and visitors must wear a face covering while in the galleries; social distance while moving through the galleries; hand sanitizer available just inside the door; sneeze guard placed on the front desk; all staff offices closed to the public; and a limit of 36 people (12 per 1,000 square feet) in the galleries. The Arts Council asks everyone to be respectful of these requirements, and though inconvenient, they are in place to protect us all.

“With three people on our staff in the most vulnerable category and my own son fighting leukemia,” explains Dunn, “it’s imperative that we take these precautions.”

The Arts Council and Campbell House Galleries are located at 482 E. Connecticut Avenue in Southern Pines. Its COVID-19 weekday gallery hours are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call 910-692-2787 or visit MooreArt.org.

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