The Sizemore family supports NC State and the arts with a major gift to the Gregg Museum Campaign.
Thirty-five years ago, Carol and Bing Sizemore bought their first piece of art. They purchased a watercolor by Billie Corder from Ruth Green, founder of the Little Art Gallery in Raleigh. They paid a few hundred dollars for the piece and framed it themselves to save money. Just a few years ago, they had the watercolor reframed professionally, and the painting still hangs in their home.
That first purchase marked the beginning of a lifelong commitment to collecting and supporting the arts. Ruth Green, whom Bing describes as a pioneer in the Triangle arts community, taught Bing and Carol how to collect, with her most important recommendation being to collect what you like.
At the same time as they began collecting art, the Sizemores began donating to Bing’s alma mater, NC State. They remember being the youngest couple at fund-raising events; they were there because they they both were raised to give back. Carol and Bing credit their parents – who were active volunteers in their community – and the time when they grew up – when the Peace Corps was founded and civic responsibility was expected – for why they feel a responsibility to contribute. Carol and Bing have always donated what they could, and each year they determine how much they will contribute. Their giving priorities are their two passions: the arts and NC State.
Bing has served on several local boards, including sitting for ten years on the board of the North Carolina Symphony. At NC State, Bing serves on the Board of Visitors and the board of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHASS). He is pleased to be the chair elect of the FRIENDS of ARTS NC STATE Board of Advisors. Bing and Carol are also members of the Wolfpack Club, and they and their family can be found in their suite at Carter-Finley Stadium during every home football game.
Carol and Bing have two grown children: a son, Skip, and a daughter, Hayley. Both children love NC State and appreciate the arts. Like his parents, Skip is a philanthropist and supports the Carolina Ballet among other area nonprofit organizations. Skip is also growing his art collection, an interest Bing and Carol began when – 18 years ago – they commissioned Kyle Highsmith to paint Skip’s first painting while he lived in Charleston, SC. Since then, Skip has acquired many works, including a Ulysses Jackson piece from his sister, Hayley. Skip marvels at how he sees something different in Jackson’s painting every day. Hayley is an artist herself and owner of Emerge Fine Art, a contemporary art gallery in downtown Cary. Emerge Fine Art focuses on what Hayley feels most passionate about: abstract art. Hayley remembers when she was a child and her parents first started collecting Bob Rankin paintings.
She recalls how inspired she felt (and still feels) by his work. Hayley’s first painting was a Bob Rankin, and Emerge Fine Art now represents him. While Emerge represents several accomplished and emerging North Carolina artists, the gallery aspires to represent national and international abstract artists as well. The Sizemore family loves to travel, and they often purchase art for their personal collections and for the gallery while abroad. Hayley and Bing also travel regularly to New York City to visit artists and galleries and are currently establishing an affiliation with a Manhattan gallery.
Hayley has adored the visual and performing arts for as long as she can remember, took art and theatre classes throughout her childhood, and volunteers as what she affectionately calls “head kid wrangler” at Theatre in the Park’s annual production of A Christmas Carol. Hayley has lifelong memories of visiting museums and cheering for NC State, and – with
the encouragement of her parents – she, too, is becoming involved in supporting the family’s two favorite causes.
The Gregg Museum Campaign is a project that combines perfectly the Sizemore family’s commitments to NC State and to the arts. Bing is an executive member of the Gregg Campaign Committee, and he and his family have made a major contribution to name the Sizemore Family Entry Plaza. Bing is adamant that the arts create a well-rounded education and thus a well-rounded person. He hopes that relocating the Gregg to its permanent home at the site of the historic chancellor’s residence on Hillsborough Street will encourage more students to visit, just as he soaked up the visual and performing arts while a student at NC State.
Bing goes further to suggest that arts experiences should be a requirement for graduation. He wants students to “stop and smell the roses a little bit… see beauty in the mundane,” and be a bit more like his daughter, Hayley, who “sees beauty in everything” because of art. ARTS NC STATE is grateful to the Sizemore family for their generous advocacy and support for the Gregg Museum Campaign. To learn more about the Campaign for the Gregg, visit newgregg.ncsu.edu or contact Christina Menges, Director of Arts Development, at 919-513-1337 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please visit Emerge Fine Art at 200 South Academy Street in downtown Cary. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11am to 6pm, and Sunday and Monday by appointment. Call 919-380-4470 or email email@example.com.