SECCA and the NCMA Explore the Intersections of Contemporary Art

This article first appeared in the Fall 2022 issue of NCMA's Preview MagazineRead more here.

The year 1956 was a big one for art in North Carolina. The NCMA, dubbed "the Miracle on Morgan Street" by local press, opened its first location in downtown Raleigh after more than 30 years of strategic arts advocacy. Meanwhile, 90 miles down Interstate 40, a nonprofit known as the Winston-Salem Gallery of Fine Arts opened its doors in response to a need for exhibition space devoted to regional working artists. The organization saw a handful of iterations before arriving at the former estate of James G. Hanes as the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, or SECCA.

Now, as the NCMA reimagines the People's Collection—and a growing trove of contemporary works—new investments in the historic Hanes House at SECCA offer visitors the opportunity to explore the art of our time in a welcoming, homelike setting.

Though the NCMA and SECCA have been affiliates since 2007, the spirit of collaboration has gained new strength in recent months. Joint artist-led programs and workshops form a connective tissue between these two storied institutions. With a shared team of two new contemporary curators bringing exhibitions to SECCA and the NCMA, more residents of the Piedmont and western North Carolina will enjoy bold, inclusive art experiences. Works from the People's Collection will even venture west to SECCA, offering greater access to one of the South's most impressive public collections.

Why get excited about contemporary art? Because this is the art of now. Holding a mirror to society, contemporary art weaves together stories untold by traditional media, often with emotional gravity and visceral beauty. SECCA and the NCMA are committed to bringing cutting-edge experiences to North Carolina's diverse communities while supporting working artists, the lifeblood of our state's creative economy.

As the collaborative relationship between the NCMA and SECCA deepens, North Carolinians can look forward not only to unforgettable exhibitions but also to performances, education programs, and experiences that explore the intersections of contemporary art with culture at large. There's no better place to investigate these intersections—we've been doing it since 1956. 

Philip Pledger
Director of Marketing, SECCA