Siler City, NC – On the western side of Chatham County is one of the most extensive small-town arts districts in the state. It’s centered around the NC Arts Incubator (NCAI) in Siler City, just a 20 minute ride from my home in Pittsboro.
NC Arts Incubator
NCAI is a non-profit that gives local artists low cost studio and exhibition space. There’s also an outdoor stage and a happening little coffee house attached to the main gallery.
Artists of all genres come through the space in a rainbow of media – painting, fiber, clay, glass wood, even a guitar maker.
Siler City Arts District
A whole arts district has sprung up around NCAI, principally on Chatham Street around the intersection of 2nd Street. All together, the map they give out at NCAI lists 23 businesses associated with the Siler City Arts District. A dozen of them are within a four block area, the rest close by.
It is this density of studios and galleries that makes Siler City’s Arts District a particularly vibrant place. And they are serious about their art, too, and getting some serious attention.
A recent gallery opening for Ricky Linley at the PAF Gallery (next door to NCAI) advertised heavy hors d’oevres from 6-8 and confections from 8-9 with cocktail party attire suggested. Artists are doing bold work in the community surrounding NCAI and collectors are noticing.
Siler City is right on 64, but you probably fly right by it on the way to Asheboro. Looks like a lot of gas stations and fast food from the highway.
But go into the historic downtown. Take a left off 64 (if you coming from Pittsboro) onto Raleigh Road. Follow it for a few blocks – it’s takes you into the cebter of town. Make a right on Chatham and park if you are going to the Artrs District.
Of note downtown is the old Hadley Hotel (now a studio). It dates from 1908 and has the look of a place that was there when all else around it was empty. One man’s bold vision, a bit of the frontier still left standing in central North Carolina.
Getting to NC Arts Incubator
From Pittsboro, it’s 16.6 miles to Siler City. See the directions up above or map it for yourself.
NC Arts Incubator
223 N. Chatham Avenue
Siler City, NC 27344