CAM opens Above the Rim


Estevan Oriol

CAM Raleigh is getting sporty this month with their newest exhibition, Above the Rim. The exhibition that’s two years in the making is focused on basketball, and the community that it fosters. Above the Rim will bring many firsts to CAM. It’s the first time there will be a full-sized basketball court in the main gallery. It’s the first time they’ve had an advisory committee for a show, and this one includes iconic Raleigh athletes like Chris Corchiani and Dereck Whittenburg. CAM has also enlisted the expertise of guest curator, Phil America, to assemble the lineup. The Los Angeles native is not a newcomer to the Triangle, as he created Failure of the American Dream, a 2016 exhibition at CAM. America is known for his thought-provoking public art and graffiti—and he’s recruited numerous contemporary artists to CAM this month, like photographer Estevan Oriol and digital artist Hueman. America says he has a special connection to this show in particular. “We are in a time where everything is politicized, even art and sports. So with my love for both basketball and contemporary art, and the point where those two things intersect, really makes this show an important one for me. It’s bringing together works that examine the joy and accompanying hardships of basketball, and create a narrative that transcends the sport itself.”

There’s pop art, fine art, and street art, and the team at CAM hopes that the diverse exhibition will bring new visitors through the museum’s doors. “The sociopolitical ramifications of an exhibition like this are so much bigger than just showcasing a sport,” says America, “this is showing youth in America an aspirational mirror of themselves.” 

All exhibition labels will be in English and Spanish, in addition to various bilingual events and programming. There will be a family day one Saturday each month during the exhibition, and busing is available to and from the museum. “There are quite a few Spanish-speaking artists in the exhibit, so it was a natural evolution,” says Eric Gaard, CAM exhibitions director. “We hope to cross all types of boundaries with this exhibition. We’re treating sport and art equally within the community. Basketball is inherently part of North Carolina culture. Our hope is that the subject and art are both accessible.”—Catherine Currin

The exhibition is open to the public from October 5, 2018—February 3, 2019.
You can also catch the exhibition when chefs from Heirloom, Brewery Bhavana,
and Garland join
WALTER at our exclusive gallery dinner, Art Fare, October 18.