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Fayetteville Museum Of Art Benefits From Triangle's Art Explosion

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FAYETTEVILLE — It has been a year for the arts with theFestival Rodinexhibit and the openings ofExplorisand theNorth Carolina Museum of Natural Sciencesin Raleigh. The Triangle attractions are also benefiting Fayetteville.

Janet Lampkin and her husband love the arts and love theFayetteville Museum of Art.

"This museum is part of my life. It's a lifestyle more than anything because I walk here, and I play here," she says.

At 10,000 square feet, the Fayetteville Museum of Art is small in comparison to other museums. However, this year, the museum has been on a roll with exhibits from popular artists and an attendance record of over 130,000.

Part of the credit goes to other big art events across the state.

"The awareness is great awareness," says education coordinator Michele Horn. "The more we get people involved in the arts, the better each of us will be. We are stronger together than separate."

For the first time, the museum is advertising across the state and attracting sponsors from as far away as Research Triangle Park.

As employees prepare for the opening of the Dale Chihuly exhibit this weekend, the need for room is more apparent than ever.

"We really need space so we can bring to our community and state national exhibitions and first class exhibitions," says executive museum director Tom Grubb.

The museum would like to expand on Ray Avenue in downtown Fayetteville. It would be part of a proposed downtown arts complex. Funding and an environmental land assessment are still in the works.

It could be awhile before permanent plans are in place for the move to the Center City, but that is not stopping the museum from having a downtown presence.The Museum of Art has loaned more than a dozen pieces of its permanent collection to Advanced Internet Technology.

The downtown company is displaying the artwork in the lobby of its building. The display is open to the public, and features paintings and sculptures of contemporary North Carolina artists.