Fayetteville Underground to dissolve, artists plan new organization

Photo by Todd Gill
Guests mingle inside Fayetteville Underground during First Thursday in October 2010. Glass artist Ed Pennebaker’s work was on display inside the E-Street Gallery that month.

Fayetteville Underground artists announced Wednesday that its board of directors will dissolve the organization at the end of the year.

The 18 artists that make up the non-profit collective, however, have decided to form a new organization, and are seeking input from the community on a new name, a new location, and are asking for donations to help with their transition.

The groups was already looking for a new home after officials announced in July that East Square Plaza owners Ted and Leslie Belden planned to sell the building, and that the gallery’s lease would not be renewed.

Gallery officials announced a capital fundraising campaign just weeks ago to try to “Save the Underground,” but for now, it appears those efforts will be redirected into the new organization.

Here is full statement released on Wednesday:

The artists and the board of the Fayetteville Underground gathered last week in the Vault Gallery, for a meeting to discuss future plans of the organization. It was at this meeting that the board revealed they would be dissolving The Fayetteville Underground at the end of the year. They did not leave open the option for the artists to carry on with the current organization. After the meeting the artists stayed to discuss the news and plan for the future. A decision was made by the artists to create a new arts organization based on the current model.

Studio Artist and current Co-Artisic Director of the Fayetteville Underground, Megan Chapman, commented, “A lot of time and energy goes into creating something as special as The Fayetteville Underground. Every studio artist, every craft artist and every visiting artist that has shown at The Underground has made it what it is today. The artists know that we can take what we have learned through our experience here, and go forward to create something new that is even more impressive and exciting for all the artists involved, as well as for the community at large.”

The November and December First Thursdays at the Fayetteville Underground will continue as planned. The artists have launched a website to help transition to a new organization, and individuals can find the website at morphtheorg.com. The artists are also asking that community members help them select a new name, by voting online or in person at the November First Thursday. Voting will end on November 7th, and the winning name will be released the following day. As the Fayetteville Underground takes a new shape, the artists ask that the community continue their support and direct any ideas, proposals or donations to the website at morphtheorg.com.

For more information, contact Megan Chapman or Jennifer Libby Fay