First Friday Lincoln Hancock

Artist pays homage to work of Alice Coltrane, explores transcendence through sound

sbarr@newsobserver.comAugust 30, 2013 

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    First Friday, from 6 to 9 p.m., is a monthly art event in downtown Raleigh. Galleries stay open late, and many restaurants offer special deals. To learn more, go online to

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    311 West Martin Street Galleries and Studios, 311 W. Martin St., “Form Gesture Vision,” featuring work by Celia Johnson, a painter of forms; Gerry Lynch, a painter of gestures; and Bill Lynch jr., a painter of landscapes, still lifes and stories

    Adam Cave Fine Art, 115 1/2 E. Hargett St., “Season of Change,” new work by artists including AnneMarie Gugelmann, Joseph Cave, Jimmy Craig Womble and Will Goodyear

    Artspace, 201 E. Davie St., Accounts, artist books by Maureen Cummins

    CAM Raleigh, 409 W. Martin St., “Currents,” photographs from the collection of Allen Thomas, Jr., featuring Michele Abeles, Matthew Baum, Matthew Brandt, Debbie Grossman, Carolyn Janssen, Maciek Jasik, Sarah Anne Johnson, Chris McCaw and Arne Svenson

    Designbox, 307 W. Martin St., Graffiti Showcase by Raleigh’s Elite, painting installation by Victor Knight III, Sean Kernick, Bart Cusick, Eric Dixon, Mike Atkinson & Mark Wroblewski

    Flanders Art Gallery, 302 S. West St., “CtrlAltDel,” a combination of appropriated photographs, stop motion video loops and manually typed works on paper by Michael Itkoff

    Gallery C, 540 N. Blount St., silver gelatin prints from the 1930’s by Bayard Wootten

    LGBT Center of Raleigh, 411 Hillsborough St., "Are We There Yet?" graphic art and design prints by Carl Broaddus

    Litmus Gallery, 312 W. Cabarrus St., Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham faculty show

    Local Color Gallery, 22 Glenwood Ave., "Retrospective" acrylics and photography by Rebecca Toy

    The Mahler, 228 Fayetteville St., new work by gallery artists Elizabeth Bradford, Mary Roundtree Moore, David Connell, Linda Ruth Dickenson, Janet Graham Nault and Ralston Fox Smith

    Nature Art Gallery of the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, 11 W. Jones St., From Murphy to Manteo: An Artist’s Scenic Journey, photography by J. Chris Wilson

    Nicole’s Studio and Art Gallery, 719 N. Person St., "What’s New on the Art Scene," work by Kim Maselli, Wyn Easton and Patricia Pittman

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    Visual Art Exchange, 309 W. Martin St., 24th annual N.E.W. show, a juried show of never exhibited works

    More SiteWork/Hopscotch Shows

    Lump Gallery(exterior), 505 S. Blount St., Casey Cook,

    Lump Gallery (interior), 505 S. Blount St., Harrison Haynes

    Kings/The Garland (exterior), 14 W. Martin St., Taiyo Kimura

    Kings/The Garland (exterior), 14 W. Martin St., Sara Magenheimer

    Flanders Gallery (interior), 302 S. West St., Neill Prewitt,

    CAM Raleigh (interior/exterior), 409 W. Martin St., Xaviera Simmons

— The sight of a vintage harp case in a downtown Raleigh antiques store came with a flicker of an idea for artist Lincoln Hancock.

Hancock, an admirer of musician Alice Coltrane, thought the case had the potential to become part of a piece that would pay homage to the late Coltrane, a pianist, organist, harpist and composer.

He considered a sculpture but eventually decided to create an entire environment, one where light, sound, color, and the levitating harp case would immerse the visitor in a meditation on Coltrane.

“It’s about the possibility of reaching beyond, finding bliss and transcendence through sound,” he said.

The resulting piece, “Journey in Turiya,” opens at the Visual Art Exchange’s Cube Gallery this Friday, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Coltrane, who was married to jazz legend John Coltrane, continued to push musical boundaries well after his death through jazz, blues, chanting, string compositions and more. She also was known for her spiritual exploration, including founding an ashram in California. She became known by the name Turiya and then Turiyasangitananda.

“The more I learn about her, the more fascinated I am,” said Hancock, who also plays bass guitar in the band Heads on Sticks. “The music’s unbelievable, but she’s also a relevant figure, and I regard her as a guru.”

Hancock, who lives in Raleigh, also is part of a broader organization called SiteWork that has a mission of supporting noncommercial contemporary art, things like performances, video work or installations, which are not easily sold.

During the Hopscotch music festival this week, the organization will present SiteWork/Hopscotch, a series of seven exhibits, including Hancock’s. All of the pieces were created by visual artists who also are musicians or by artists working with sound or music-related ideas.

Hancock said that he thinks the experience of creating visual art and music are closely related; in both cases, he’s striving to communicate without words.

“I’m interested in just getting in touch with that immediate experience,” he said.

Barr: 919-936-4952

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