Golden Belt creates a welcoming space for artist

By Katie Godwin
NCCU Staff Writer
the Durham VOICE


Artists from near and far are finding the Golden Belt studios to be productive, inspiring places to work

The Golden Belt studios allow Ross Ford space for his creativity to flow into his large abstract paintings. (Staff photo by Katie Godwin)

Ross Ford, who moved to North Carolina in 2010 so his wife could study neurology at UNC, drives daily from Carrboro to his studio in Northeast Central Durham.

“I have been painting since I was a child,” said Ross Ford. “My mother had my sister and I drawing on cookie sheets as children to keep us out of her hair. Ever since then I feel in love with it.”

Ford has been taking art seriously since he was high school.

Ford is from Amherst, Mass.  He earned his bachelors degree from Hampshire College and a master’s degree from the University of Florida.

“I really like it here. North Carolina is quiet. The community is smaller than Miami,” said Ford.  “At the Golden Belt I am surrounded by talented people who made me feel at home.”

Pointing to a table he pulls out his sketch book which looks almost thick as a Bible.

“I sketch everything out first. I have to see if I like it first,” he said.

He has created almost 1000 sketches, made 200 prints and over 400 works altogether.

“All of my work comes from my subconscious,” said Ford. “My art is a statement of me.”

Ford also believes that art should come from the heart. He takes about a month to paint a picture after he sketches it.

“Lots of up and coming artists get discouraged because people aren’t buying like they used to,” said Ford.

He still believes that people should do what they love regardless.

“You just have to keep going,” said Ford.  “I am nowhere near rich but I like what I do. It’s really tough to stay positive but each time I get a positive response from a person it helps me to keep going.”

Ford credits the Golden Belt community with helping to get artist’s names out there.

“I do art because there is simply nothing else that I want to do,” said Ford.

So far Ford has been in over 50 exhibitions in the past seven years.

The studio spaces in Golden Belt range from $300-$800 a month.  Ford’s work can be seen at 3rd Fridays at the Golden Belt or on his website: