For a variety of reasons, my family was excited about the move from the Midwest to North Carolina. Critical to me was the local art community. Some people consider art to be a luxury, especially in difficult economic times. I tend to agree with the philosophy of Michael Martin, who stated: “We may think art is entertainment, but it is in reality human engineering. Art is about engineering things so that humans feel they are harmonious and elegant in their context. Landscaping is about how juxtaposed bushes and trees together can create harmony and elegance. Architecture is about how juxtaposing structural elements creates beauty and elegance out of buildings. Art is the harmonizing of things and context that creates elegance and beauty.” Upon arriving in Raleigh, I began exploring the art centers, museums, and galleries in the Triangle area. When I walked into artspace, I was blown away. It’s the epitome of what an urban art center should be. Located in a revitalized downtown setting, the interior of the 3-story building retains an open, industrial look. A non-profit visual art center dedicated to presenting quality exhibitions and educational programs, it also promotes the visual arts by making the creative process accessible to the public. This is done via a unique environment where artists have their studios open to the public, inviting the community to become part of the creative process. There is a visual art center where children and adults can express their creativity through enriching educational programs, and venues for exhibitions by regional, national, and international artists. A stranger, I was greeted warmly by the staff, and the executive director even took time to welcome me to Raleigh, and answer my questions about the local art community. I was so impressed that I immediately became a member and signed up as a volunteer for artspace’s participation in downtown’s “First Friday” events. Since that time, my wife and I have made connections with several of the resident artists, sharing their love of art, philosophy, travel, theater, wine, coffee, local politics, and many other topics. We wanted to become integrated with the community, and artspace was our catalyst for doing that. artspace provides a great diversity of exhibition and educational opportunities. If they could expand the demographics of their membership base, students, and volunteers, it would help to counter the perception that the creation and appreciation of art is an elitist activity. artspace’s motto is “inspiring creative energy”. It certainly did that for me.