Art student enjoys semester at Golden Belt

By Trenton Little
NCCU Staff Writer
the Durham VOICE


N.C. Central University studio art senior Quintin Neal knows that opportunities don’t come to students frequently. He decided to take advantage of a unique opportunity he was given; take up residence in a Golden Belt art studio for the fall semester.

Quintin Neal listens as another artist talks about his work at Golden Belt Studios. Neal is a studio art senior at N.C. Central University. (Staff photo by Trenton Little)

NCCU Suntrust Endowed Chair Professor of Art and Painter Beverly McIver rented out her studio at the Golden Belt Art Studios off East Main Street in Durham.  She offered the studio to upper-level students at NCCU for a semester while she worked at her studio in New York until December.

“Our advanced students have been able to use this space so they can work in a professional environment off campus,” said NCCU Adjunct Instructor and Painter Chad Hughes, who also rents a studio at Golden Belt.

Neal is currently the only student using the space.

A lot of people at Golden Belt knew Neal because he had always been around. Prior to the taking residence in the studio space Neal would come down with Hughes or McIver all the time.

Hughes and McIver are both Neal’s professors at NCCU. He said he has learned a lot from them.

“I take bits and pieces from both of them and do my own thing,” Neal said.

“When I actually do color portraits of people, I take different aspects to make it into both of them.”

Neal was excited about the opportunity, even if it was only for a semester.

“To work down here is amazing, even just to show my work is a greater opportunity,” said Neal.

Since becoming a temporary Golden Belt painter Neal has been able to communicate and network with other artists. He’s also participated in events like the monthly “Third Fridays.”

“Third Fridays” is an art show the studios offer to the public to come out for a night of art, wine and cheese. Observers are able to view and purchase pieces from many different artists.

“It was just an added bonus to meet people on Third Fridays, also with people that want to buy your work,” Neal said. “It’s a great opportunity.”

If Neal isn’t at the studio, he’s in class and vice versa. He said he probably goes to the studio everyday. He has turned McIver’s studio into his own, with many of his works spilling onto three of the four walls of the room. Along with the paintings he’s completed this semester, Neal brought many from his regular art studio, his apartment.

“Tears of A Man” is one of Neal’s paintings in the rented studio. (Staff photo by Trenton Little)

bstract paintings, self-portraits and a man composed of different colors on a canvas cover the room. The painting of the man is called “Tears of a Man.”

“It’s like the man is never supposed to cry,” Neal said.

The meaning of the picture is actually the opposite; a man can still cry and be a man. With the color red outlining the man, Neal is showing that red represents the intensity and fire of a man. Neal said he likes color, and being able to make it his own.

“I go from abstract, to a child growing and being faced with many obstacles, to a girl dealing with peer pressure,” Neal said. “Just different things in different communities and life.”

As the semester nears its end so will Neal’s time as a painter at the Golden Belt Studios. However, because of the connections he’s made, he will still be allowed to participate in events at the Golden Belt as an outside artist.  Until then, he will be painting in his apartment.


The former Art Club President at his high school in Greensboro, Neal has big dreams. He wants to go for a Masters of Fine Arts and teach art at the college level once he graduates from NCCU in December 2013.

“I got stuff I have to get to,” Neal said.

Caption Little_student artist: Quintin Neal listens as another artist talks about his work at Golden Belt Studios. Neal is a studio art senior at N.C. Central University. (Staff photo by Trenton Little)



One thought on “Art student enjoys semester at Golden Belt

  1. Quinne Poole Neal says:

    We would like to commend Quintin Neal for all his outstanding accomplishments at NCCU/DURHAM. We would like to give his art instructor Ms. Beverly McIver a special thank you for allowing Quintin to use her studio and to be exposed to other cultures and meeting artists and people from all walks of life at Golden Belt Studios in Durham, NC!!! Without you Quintin would not have this exposture. Also, many, many, thanks to Mr. Hughes for teaching Quintin, for giving him advice, techniques of an artist, and his support at NCCU and Golden Belt Studios! Of course by now this comment is from his proud MOM and Dad!!! Greensboro,NC

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