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The 21st annual Chatham County Open Studio Tour, sponsored by the Chatham County Artists Guild, takes place the first two weekends of December. More than 50 artists, representing many different media, are participating. Their pieces include paintings, jewelry, pottery, quilts, fiber arts, glasswork, sculpture, woodwork, photography and baskets. For example, Bea Lee, a quilter, is a new participant while Carolyn Schrock, a plein air pastelist, and Christie Minchew, who works in two- and three-dimensional fiber art, are returning. A short drive from the Triangle's urban centers brings art lovers to Chatham County's woodsy lanes to find the objects being created in its natural setting.

 

Artful Giving runs through Jan. 5 at FRANK, the gallery in Chapel Hill. The gallery's artists and invited guests are offering an array of wares for shoppers, such as jewelry, scarves, handmade paper goods, ceramics, woodwork and fine art. Several artists are making their FRANK debut, including jewelers Una Barrett, Q Evon, Nancy Fleming, Janet Harriman and Lauren Markley.

 

Small Works, a show by members of the Cary Gallery of Artists featuring 8 x 10 paintings, photographs and other small pieces for gifts, home and office, runs through Dec. 31 at the gallery.

 

Handmade Felt, an exhibit of work by Sharron Parker, is in the Allenton Gallery of the Durham Arts Council through April 13.

 

Artspace, the nonprofit visual art center in Raleigh, continues to offer a professional development series for artists, Position Yourself in the Art World, in partnership with Heather Allen, MGIM-MBA. Her next workshop, Boosting the Perceived Value of Your Artwork Through Branding, takes place Dec. 14.

 

A free art show featuring award-winning local artist Michael Morrison takes place Dec. 6 at the AIANC Center for Architecture and Design, in Raleigh. A portion of the night's sales benefit Pretty In Pink Foundation, a nonprofit that pays for medical treatments for North Carolinians who have breast cancer and little or no insurance.

 

 

 

 

    In a competitive process, college students were selected to represent North Carolina as WomenNC fellows at the annual United Nations' Commission on the Status of Women, which takes place in March. During the next four months, WomenNC's 2014 fellows will formulate fellowship topics as they pertain to the commission's theme and an issue challenging women in North Carolina. The fellows include:
  • Noreen Elnady, a junior at Meredith College, whose major is international studies and political science
  • Isabella Higgins, a junior at UNC-Chapel Hill, who's a double major in women's studies & sociology
  • Alexandria Polk, a sophomore at N.C. State University, whose major is international studies/political science
  • Sarah Scrivens, a junior at Duke University, whose major is women's studies
  • Amy Watson, a junior at UNC-Chapel Hill, whose major is sociology.

 

 

Kristie Shifflette is the franchise owner for the new Orangetheory Fitness of Morrisville. The club is set to open in January in the Park West Village Shopping Center. Morrisville is the first of three Orangetheory Fitness locations planned to open in the Triangle over the next year.

 

VIETRI, America's largest importer of fine Italian handcrafted dinnerware, flatware, glassware, linens, decorative accessories and garden urns, which is headquartered in Hillsborough, is celebrating 30 years in business. To mark the milestone, the company partnered with SunTrust Bank and Warren-Hay Mechanical Contractors to build a home with Habitat for Humanity in Orange County. VIETRI's founders - Susan Gravely joined by her sister, Frances, and mother, Lee - joined together for the dedication ceremony for the completed home. To raise $78,000 for the project, VIETRI had created limited-edition handcrafted mugs, with all proceeds going toward building the new home. The three women founded VIETRI in 1983 after a family trip to Italy where they fell in love with colorful, hand-painted dinnerware from the Amalfi Coast.

 

 

 

For the second consecutive year, Nannette Stangle-Castor, Ph.D., president of InnoVector Tech, won the LEAD Award from the Triangle chapter of the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association. InnoVector Tech is a management consulting and communications firm that serves healthcare organizations, government agencies, nonprofits and foundations. The LEAD (Leadership Excellence and Dedication) Award recognizes one outstanding chapter member who has demonstrated excellence at a regional level as well as dedication to the mission of furthering the advancement of women in healthcare worldwide.

 

Through the support of the Shared Visions Foundation, created by Chapel Hill's Ebeth Scott-Sinclair and her husband, the Murphey School (1923), in Orange County, was restored. The site has been named to the National Register of Historic Places. The family foundation supports nonprofit arts, mental health and environmental organizations in Durham and Orange counties. Scott-Sinclair is a painter who was included in the recently released book "100 Artists of the South" and will be included in next year's "Artists and Their Studios."

 

The Raleigh chapter of the International Coach Federation received the annual Breaking Barriers Award from the International Coach Federation. The honor was in recognition of the organizational and promotional efforts surrounding International Coaching Week 2013. The president of the Raleigh chapter is Sackeena Gordon-Jones.

 

 

The Durham Symphony Orchestra's annual holiday pops concert takes place Dec. 6 at the Durham Armory. The program includes the favorite sounds of the season, including beloved carols, music from "The Nutcracker" and a sing-along. Joining in will be two local choruses – Triangle Gay Men's Chorus and Hillandale Children's Chorus. Sponsorship for the concert is provided by Marianne Ward and her husband.

 

Singer Nnenna Freelon, a native of Durham, previewed her new creative production, "The Clothesline Muse," in the Bull City prior to its national premiere and tour.

 

Many Raleigh women are Bands4Good Challenge contestants, including Lauren Nicole and Debbie Liske. Both have ties to the military in the state. Bands4Good is a music contest presented by Raleigh's Doing Good Network. It invites musicians to submit original songs and videos and compete for votes (donations) that support nonprofit partners. Aspiring local musicians get exposure while money is raised for worthy causes.

 

 

    The Greater Chapel Hill Association of REALTORS elected a new slate of officers, including:
  • Sandra Paul, treasurer, Allen Tate Real Estate
  • Jaye Kreller, assistant treasurer, Tony Hall & Associates
  • Jennifer Guyer-Stenner, past president, Fonville Morisey

 

    Linda Craft & Team, Realtors, of Raleigh announced:
  • Kathryn Youngs of Wells Fargo Mortgage joined the team's preferred lender's program.
  • Muriel Bijeau earned the honor of agent of the month based on the highest sales volume.
  • Isabel Mendez joined the administrative team.

 

The Raleigh-based Luxury Home Marketing Group is growing with the addition of Mary Edna Williams, a Realtor, of RE/MAX Preferred Associates.

 

Krissy Carothers and Destiny Sutton became full-time sales associates of the Inside the Beltline office of Raleigh's Fonville Morisey Realty.

 

 

 

After a move, Cameron's hosted its grand opening celebration last month. The funky, woman-owned gift shop, which opened in 1977, recently relocated to 370 E. Main St., in Carrboro.

 

Scarffish, the Scarf with the Starfish, are now available at A Southern Season, in Chapel Hill. Scarffish are knitted and crocheted by hand in Chapel Hill, each one a unique creation, and come in a wide array of color combinations. The firm is owned by Maureen Dolan Rosen.

 

Brick Alley Antiques, a downtown shop for six years, returned to Mebane after a two-year hiatus. The new location is in the renovated A&M Grill building. Gillian Lunsford, the owner, said a select group of antiques dealers are joining her in the new venture.

 

Theresa Leonard and Jaqueline Hoover are co-owners of Wine and Canvas - Raleigh/Durham, a painting class with cocktails. The grand opening in Burlington took place at the end of October.

 

 

 

Toxicologists from across the state gathered at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), in Research Triangle Park, to share new science findings and recognize outstanding young researchers. YuanYuan (Laura) Xu, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow at NIEHS, won top prize for her work on understanding the role that exposure to arsenic can play in the development of particularly aggressive breast cancers. This is the second time Durham resident Xu has received the President's Award for Research Competition from the N.C. chapter of the Society of Toxicology.

 

Reproductive biologist Deborah O'Brien, Ph.D., and biochemist John Sondek, Ph.D., uncovered potential targets for therapies that could have major implications for men's health and cancer treatment. Now, thanks to the GlaxoSmithKline Discovery Fast Track competition, they'll work separately with GSK scientists to quickly screen millions of compounds to see if any show promise for regulating male fertility or for cancer treatment. O'Brien, a professor in the department of cell biology and physiology in the UNC School of Medicine, studies the regulation of sperm production and function. Her lab found that a sperm-specific enzyme called GAPDHS is essential for the production of ATP – the energy of the cell that allows sperm to move. But other cells throughout the body have a similar, although not identical, enzyme called GAPDH. The trick for O'Brien is to find a compound that selectively modulates the GAPDHS pathway so that only the metabolism of sperm is inhibited or activated. Otherwise, many cells throughout the body could be affected.

 

Oysters begin their lives as tiny drifters, but when they mature they settle on reefs. New research from N.C. State University, in Raleigh, shows that the sounds of the reef may attract the young oysters, helping them locate their permanent home. "This research is the first step in establishing what normal, healthy reef environments sound like," said researcher Ashlee Lillis, a Ph.D. candidate in marine sciences. "If we can figure out how the noise impacts oysters, it may give us strategies for establishing new oyster beds. It might also give us a noninvasive method for keeping tabs on the health of our undersea reefs."

 

 

 

Healing Waters Spa & Cosmetic Clinic, with locations in Durham and Wichita, Kan., announced its partnership with Palmetto Health, the largest health-care system in the Midlands region of South Carolina. The Palmetto Health Healing Waters Spa will be adjacent to the region's newest hospital, Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge, opening in the spring. Healing Waters is a plastic surgery clinic, wellness center and day spa. Healing Waters is owned by Amanda Gorecki, an advanced registered nurse practitioner with a background in critical care, surgery and neurosurgery, and her husband, John Gorecki, M.D., a board-certified neurosurgeon.

 

Losing weight is generally beneficial for human health, but when one partner in a romantic relationship loses weight, it doesn't always have a positive effect on the relationship. According to new research from N.C. State University and the University of Texas at Austin, there can be a negative side to weight loss if both partners are not on board with enacting healthy changes. "People need to be aware that weight loss can change a relationship for better or worse and that communication plays an important role in maintaining a healthy relationship," says Dr. Lynsey Romo, an assistant professor of communication at N.C. State and lead author of a paper on the research.

 

Researchers leading the Carolina Breast Cancer Study have enrolled the 3,000th participant for the study's third phase, making it the largest-ever population-based study of breast cancer in North Carolina and one of the largest in the world. This milestone completes enrollment and initiates the five-year follow-up. Launched in 1993, the study aims to improve understanding of breast cancer, including why the disease's fatality rate is higher in African-American women. Phase III will focus on how treatment decisions, access to care, and financial or geographic barriers impact breast cancer outcomes and whether these outcomes are predictable or altered by genetic breast cancer subtypes. The latest study phase was named after the late Jeanne Hopkins Lucas. She was the first African-American woman to become a North Carolina state senator and she died of breast cancer in 2007. The study is conducted by the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and UNC School of Medicine faculty with funding from the University Cancer Research Fund, the National Cancer Institute, UNC Breast SPORE and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

 

 

 

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