First art walk stop: Jesse Kalisher Gallery

By Lindsay Britt
Carrboro Commons Co-Editor


Meet the Jesse Kalisher Gallery family: (from left to right) David Winton, gallery associate; Lisa Mays, sales managers; Helen Kalisher, vice president and design; Jesse Kalisher, photographer and owner. Not pictured is Sarah Elder, gallery manager.
Staff photo by Lindsay Britt

The monthly 2ndFriday Artwalk brought in visitors and families to Carrboro art galleries and restaurants on Friday, Oct. 10.

The Jesse Kalisher Gallery, located at 209 E. Main St., was one of the stops on the art walk for the third time since the gallery opened two months ago.

“We are an art gallery, and we are in Carrboro,” local photographer Jesse Kalisher said. It (participating in the art walk) seemed like a logical extension of the gallery.”

With the presidential elections around the corner, Kalisher chose to feature his political photographs that he has been collecting since 2002. Black and white photographs of Barack Obama, John Edwards and an anti-war protest in San Francisco lined the front walls of the gallery.

“Politics is one of my favorite areas,” Kalisher said. “It is drama that is important and real.”

Kalisher’s political photography exhibit makes strong statements that he hopes sparks serious conversations. Kalisher’s photographs of the anti-war protest in San Francisco include images of people carrying signs with bold statements such as “Stop Mad Cowboy Disease.”

“There is some controversy just in putting up some of the photographs,” Kalisher said. “You can’t be afraid to offend people.”

Sophia Dingler, the 6-year-old daughter of Katie Bowler, pointed out her favorite photograph Friday night to her mother. It was a picture of a dog with a sign draped over his back that read “I Pee On Bush.” Dingler said she liked it because she said the sign was funny.


Katie Bowler shows her two daughters, Audrey and Sophia Dingler, ages 4 and 6 respectively, the photographs of Barack Obama featured in the Jesse Kalisher Gallery Friday night.
Staff Photo by Lindsay Britt

According to Kalisher, photographs tell a story. “It’s not a story we made up,” Kalisher said. “It’s not a story we staged for the purposes of trying to draw attention.”

Kalisher says that both he and his wife are politically “left of center.” However, he has no opposition to photographing politicians from the other end of the political spectrum.

“To be fair, I would be very happy to photograph John McCain or Sarah Palin if they ever came to Chapel Hill,” said Kalisher. “Regardless of my politics, I am an equal opportunity photographer. We just try to show great photographs.”

According to Beverly Calhoun, an art walk visitor from Chapel Hill, people are drawn to the art walk for more than just the art. Many galleries and other art venues offer complimentary wine and have live music.

Calhoun explained that it is a great way to use the space. “I enjoy the art, the wine and walking outside…and it’s free,” said Calhoun.

Kalisher suspects that Carrboro restaurants receive more business on the second Friday of every month because of the art walk. Calhoun added to that business by dining at Tyler’s Restaurant and Taproom before walking over to Kalisher’s gallery.

“The art walk brings people out,” said Kalisher. “It gets people into shops that they have never been into before.”

The next 2ndFriday Artwalk will take place on Friday, Nov. 14, from 6 to 9 p.m. Go to for a detailed list of participating galleries.

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One Response

  1. Liz
    Liz at |

    A Carrboro must! the 2nd Friday Art walk is a great event. Bravo!

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