A Conversation with Eric Gaard on CAM Connections

“I feel both lucky and privileged to be able to form a relationship with the artists I work with every day,” says Eric Gaard of Raleigh’s Contemporary Art Museum. “But I thought, how could I create the kind of connection I feel with our artists, for our community?” That’s how CAM Connections was born: one part experiential art, another part dinner, drinks, and good conversation, it’s an opportunity for museum supporters and fans to engage directly with artists and get a private tour of their work.


The first CAM Connections event was held in August with photographers Alun Be and Kennedi Carter. The next one will be in November, when photographer Mikael Owunna will discuss his new work and host a 30-minute screening of the film Obi Mbu (The Primordial House): An Igbo Creation Myth, which he co-directed with Dr. Marques Redd. It touches on African mythology and the links between myths, the universe, and spirituality. John Upsal, the owner of SPREAD Catering, will serve a curated menu inspired by Owunna’s Nigerian and Swedish heritage. “The first Connections dinner we did was so successful and we can’t wait for this one,” says Gaard. “It’s a different conversation, getting to hear the artists talk about their work in a personal way, a much deeper and free way, over a meal.” We caught up with Gaard to learn more about CAM Connections below.