Agnes Preston-Brame leaves an impression at Revolution Mill

Preston-Brame in front of “Where Are We Going?” (2018). (photo by Lauren Barber)

Preston-Brame in front of “Where Are We Going?” (2018). (photo by Lauren Barber)

They say if you want to know what mood you are in, you best start singing,” she says. “Whatever song comes out of you, it will tell you.”

This is one of Agnes Preston-Brame’s firmly held beliefs, and for her it holds true for the colors on her painter’s palette.

Born in Budapest, she defected from Soviet-controlled Hungary and immigrated to the United States, where she felt she could become the artist she wanted to be without the threat of state censorship. She earned her fine-arts degree from New York University in 1971 before moving to Greensboro in 1986. When she’s not traveling the world, she splits time between her interior design firm, Metamorphosis Design, and painting in her home studio. Her latest exhibit, figurEtively speaking, which is on view in the Central Gallery at Revolution Mill, features her most recent works.

“What I do is depict emotions, attitudes,” she says. “Often, I have done paintings without facial character that people recognize as their daughter or someone. So, it’s a character of the body, the human form that interests me.”

Read the rest of the Triad City Beat article here >> 

More luxury units coming to fashionable Triad apartment community

One of the Triad's most fashionable apartment communities is expanding with more luxury units at a premium price.

Eight new apartments are under construction at Revolution Mill in the space remaining on the west end of the residential building near The Colonnade, an 8,500-square-foot event space with an outdoor courtyard.

Maggie Cummings, the property manager, told Triad Business Journal that the apartments are scheduled for completion in the fall. C.T. WilsonConstruction Co. of Durham is the general contractor for the project, estimated at $1.8 million in a building permit filed with the City of Greensboro.

C.T. Wilson worked in a joint venture with Weaver Cooke of Greensboro on earlier renovations at Revolution Mill. Developer Self Help Ventures Fund is part of Durham-based non-profit Self Help. Revolution Mill opened its first 140 residential units early in 2017.

Read the rest of the article on Triad Business Journal >> 

Preservation NC to Recognize Revolution Mill Campus at Celebration of First Phase Completion on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 2pm

What: Preservation NC Presenting Award for Revolution Mill Rehabilitation at Public Ceremony
When: Wednesday, October 18, 2pm to 4pm
Where1250 Revolution Mill Drive, Greensboro, NC
Who: Speakers include Congressman Mark Walker, Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan, Preservation NC President Myrick Howard and Self-Help EVP Tucker Bartlett.

GREENSBORO, NC – Revolution Mill is hosting a public event this Wednesday at 2pm to celebrate completion of the Campus’ first phase of redevelopment. Preservation NC will also present its Gertrude S. Carraway Award of Merit in recognition of Self-Help’s work in preserving and rehabilitating Revolution Mill. Self-Help is owner and developer of the $100 million Revolution Mill redevelopment. 

The event comes at a critical time for historic preservation as the future of the Historic Tax Credit, as well as the New Markets Tax Credit, depend on congressional support for maintaining the credits as comprehensive tax reform legislation is considered.

“The Historic Tax Credit, as well as the New Markets Tax Credit, made it possible to attract private capital to the Revolution Mill redevelopment and projects like it nationwide,” said David Beck, Self-Help Policy Director. “Historic rehabilitation is by nature expensive and private investors need incentives because of the additional risk inherent in these projects. But the payoff is huge. Revitalizing Rev Mill not only helps preserve our history it’s helping drive Greensboro’s economy by creating jobs and providing places to live, work and play while also increasing the tax base.”

Preservation NC’s Carraway award is named in honor of the late Dr. Gertrude S. Carraway, a noted New Bern historian and preservationist. Presented since 1974, the Awards of Merit give deserved recognition to individuals or organizations that have demonstrated a genuine commitment to historic preservation through extraordinary leadership, research, philanthropy, promotion, and/or significant participation in preservation.

Self-Help purchased Revolution Mill in September 2012. One of Greensboro’s most significant landmarks, the Campus is being  transformed into a multi-acre, mixed-use development. Revolution now features 1,260 permanent jobs, affordable housing, market rate housing, creative space specifically reserved for entrepreneurs/innovators, multiple restaurants, a permanent art gallery, a greenway, and multiple outdoor performance spaces for festivals, movies and concerts.


CBRE|Triad is pleased to announce Old North State Trust will relocate from downtown Greensboro to Revolution Mill, the former Cone Mill textile plant is located along the Yanceyville Street corridor in Greensboro, just minutes from downtown. 

Due to the growth of the financial planning company, they have leased 5,000 square feet on two floors in the 1250 Building at Revolution Mill. The high-end office space will feature glass walled offices, and take advantage of the mill’s huge historic windows, hardwood decking, high ceilings and exposed oak beams. Old North State will be moving by the end of the year. 

“This is one of the premium spaces in the Mill, and we’re delighted with Old North State’s plans for it,” said Malcolm White, director of marketing and leasing for Self-Help, Revolution Mill’s developer. “Their clients will enter a spectacular reception space flooded with light, and Old North State’s staff will enjoy the dramatic setting for their individual offices. It’s a great fit.” 

The CBRE|Triad team of Richard Mossman, senior vice president, Matt King, assistant vice president and Christy Crouch Smith, associate, represented Self-Help in the transaction. Old North State Trust was represented by Richard Beard of Schulman and Beard Commercial Real Estate. The CBRE|Triad team has been handling the leasing and marketing responsibilities for Revolution Mill since October 2015.

About Old North State Trust, LLC 

Old North State Trust (ONST) is a North Carolina based independent, family owned financial services company. As the needs of our founders became more complex, ONST evolved from a family office into a chartered trust company regulated by the state of North Carolina. Today, ONST is a well-established trust company that offers families and individuals meaningful and personalized service. The firm was built on a foundation of trust and integrity- those principles govern all client relationships. For more information about the company, visit . 


About Revolution Mill 

The Revolution Mill District is a historic textile mill campus encompassing Revolution Mill and Olympic Mill sites, with adjacent land connected by North Buffalo Creek. Located just north of downtown Greensboro, Revolution began operations as the South’s first large flannel mill in 1899 and for decades anchored a thriving community of workers and craftspeople. The facility included over 640,000 feet of working space before the textile industry decline led to its closure in 1982. For the next few decades, limited sections of Revolution were renovated into office space, while other parts of the property fell into disuse and disrepair. In 2012 Self-Help assumed ownership of Revolution Mill and is completing the property’s transformation into a mixed-use development. For more information about the property, leasing availability and details surrounding commercial, residential and studio space visit or call (336) 235-2393. 


About Self-Help 

Self-Help, a community development credit union and lender headquartered in Durham, has provided over $6.9 billion in financing to 112,000 families, individuals and businesses underserved by traditional financial institutions. It helps drive economic development and strengthen communities by financing homebuyers, nonprofits, child care centers, community health facilities, public charter schools, and residential and commercial real estate projects. Self-Help’s credit unions serve over 120,000 people in North Carolina, California, Chicago and Florida with a full range of financial products and services. 

In addition to Revolution Mill, Self-Help’s long Greensboro history includes the redevelopment of the Self-Help Center downtown, a Self-Help Credit Union branch at 3400 Battleground Ave and the in-process redevelopment of the Renaissance Shops at Phillips Avenue, formerly the old Renaissance Shopping Center. In Guilford County, Self-Help has made home and commercial loans totaling $90 million, creating or maintaining an estimated 2,700 jobs. Over 70% of the loans have been to minorities, and 66% to low-income families. Learn more at 


About CBRE|Triad 

CBRE|Triad is a CBRE affiliate office serving the Triad Region. The firm assists real estate owners, investors and occupiers by offering strategic advice and execution for property leasing and sales; property, facilities and project management; corporate services; debt and equity financing; investment management; valuation and appraisal; research and investment strategy; and consulting. The local office closed more than $199 million in sales and leasing transactions in 2016. For more information about the Triad office, visit our website,


The warmer days of summer have finally arrived.

For some Spartans, summer means studying abroad, returning home or moving to a new city for a job or internship. For others, summer is a time to stay in Greensboro and take a few classes, gain valuable work experience at a local company or nonprofit, and enjoy all that the city has to offer.

From music festivals to kayaking to Friday night movies, there’s something for everyone. So if you’re staying in Greensboro, or if you’re visiting friends for a weekend, here’s a list – in no particular order – of the top 10 things to do in Greensboro this summer.

1. Listen to live music at the Levitt AMP Greensboro Music Festival, the Eastern Music Festival and the Music for a Sunday Evening in the Park (MUSEP) series.

2. Enjoy America’s pastime by cheering on the Greensboro Grasshoppers minor league baseball team.

3. Get outdoors! Go kayaking or paddle boarding on one of Greensboro’s three lakes, ride your bike on the city’s 90-plus miles of greenways and trails or spend an afternoon skating at the new Latham Skate Park.

4. Check out all that downtown Greensboro has to offer ­­– live music, shopping, cultural events, great food and more – at First Fridays.

5. Cool down with an ice cream cone from Yum Yum or a cold brew from one of the coffee shops on Tate Street.

6. Celebrate all things red, white and blue at the Fun Fourth Festival, Greensboro’s annual Fourth of July block party.

7. Stop by the Weatherspoon Art Museum – one of Buzzfeed’s “18 Hidden Gems Around the World that You Need to Visit” – to see the new exhibitions. And don’t miss the museum’s free Summer Solstice Party.

8. Set up your hammock in Foust Park and enjoy the beauty of UNCG’s campus.

9. Spend a Friday night watching a box office hit under the stars at LeBauer Park. The summer movie night series, sponsored by UNCG, kicks off July 21.

10. Explore the newly renovated Revolution Mill and all the ways that Spartans are helping to revitalize the historic spot – including a UNCG exhibition about the “mill villagers,” a Weatherspoon art gallery and a new restaurant concept by Natty Greene’s owners and UNCG alumni Chris Lester and Kayne Fisher.

See this as it appeared on UNCG Now >>

Short Orders: Urban Grinders opens 2nd location

Urban Grinders  |  Revolution Mill

Urban Grinders coffee shop has opened at Revolution Mill in Greensboro.

The shop opened on the first floor of the building at 1250 Revolution Mill Drive just off Yanceyville Street. The building is home to more than 45 businesses, art studios and creative firms. It also houses the artist-in-residence program and the WAMRev Gallery, which holds rotating exhibitions in collaboration with Weatherspoon Art Museum.

The shop is the second location for Urban Grinders, which opened a shop and art gallery in 2015 at 116 N. Elm St. in downtown Greensboro.

“Focusing on art and music more so than any other coffee shop has helped to breed a certain culture downtown that you can’t find anywhere else,” owner Jeff Beck said . “We like to tell people we have taken a chunk of New York and plopped it right down in the middle of Greensboro. Urban Grinders at Revolution will have the same spirit as our Elm Street location, but we will be focusing more on a refined coffee shop atmosphere.”

The new shop’s open concept features seating for 35 to 50 people. It overlooks Revolution Docks — an outdoor plaza that is a venue for casual gathering, events and performances.

Urban Grinders joins dining concepts Cugino Forno Pizzeria, which opened this spring in the mill’s old machine shop at 1160 Revolution Mill Drive, and Natty Greene’s Kitchen + Market, which is scheduled to open this summer in another free-standing building overlooking North Buffalo Creek on the mill’s south side.

The openings are part of the redevelopment of the historic textile mill that produced flannel for decades before closing and falling into disrepair.

In 2012, Self-Help assumed ownership of Revolution Mill and is completing the property’s transformation into a mixed-use development.

See this as it appeared on News + Record >>

Artist Felix Semper gives sculpture a new twist

Click to watch the video. 

Click to watch the video. 

Even up close, many Felix Semper sculptures appear to be carved from stone.

The finely detailed, expressive features of the bust’s head and shoulders. The light gray or off-white finish.

Then Semper slowly pulls the head upward, stretching, twisting and contorting its features into something resembling a sci-fi creature.

He reveals its construction from thousands of compressed sheets of white paper, glued, intricately carved and painted. It unfolds like an accordion or a Slinky, then retracts as Semper slowly returns it to its original shape.

“It’s definitely a conversation piece,” he said.

His kinetic sculptures spark conversation in his gallery at Revolution Mill, in a New York exhibition, in online videos and on the streets of New York and Miami, where he frequently displays his art.

His subjects include the late rapper Notorious B.I.G., artists Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, the mythological Daphne, author Ernest Hemingway and Cuban martyr José Martí, a popular figure in Semper’s homeland.

This month, he took his Notorious B.I.G. — aka “Biggie” — sculpture to the legendary Avalon Hotel in Miami’s South Beach, then captured the scene on video.

Awed passers-by pull out their cellphones to record Semper demonstrating its maneuvers.

“That’s brilliant!” one spectator says.

Semper’s artistic talent extends beyond sculpture, to large and colorful acrylic paintings that combine traditional and graffiti street art styles.

His sculptural materials have expanded, too, to wood, books, found objects and even vinyl records.

“Biggie” and “Pink Hemingway” combine wood and paper.

He made Biggie’s gold-painted crown from wood, to protect the sculpture’s paper portion from curious hands.

He carved the head of “Pink Hemingway” from stacked sheets of plywood, then topped it with a paper sculpture of a can spilling pink paint. He covered the base with tree bark.

An interior mechanical device holds the wood layers together, while allowing the author’s face to be twisted into new looks.

“Most of my work has inspiration from the past but has a very modern twist,” Semper said.

Late reggae musician Bob Marley will be his next subject.

“I want to go to the next edge and find the new thing,” Semper said.

Mara Semper, his wife of 10 years, saw how art pulled her husband out of the doldrums after his home-building business ended in 2009 with personal bankruptcy.

“When he takes a sculpture into the streets of New York and Miami, he is sharing that joy with other people and it brings so much joy to his life,” she said.


Scenes in Semper’s paintings draw artistic inspiration from his native Cuba and his younger years in Spain.

He still visits Cuba and the artists’ colony in the village of Deia, on the Spanish island of Majorca.

“It’s the most inspiring place for me,” he said.

Born in Havana 52 years ago, he moved to northern Spain at age 9 with his parents and sister, Madelin.

“I loved Spain, the culture,” he recalled “I was really exposed to a lot of beautiful things.”

From Spain, his family moved to Miami, where his father worked in the construction business.

His mother supported his artistic interests, arranging for art classes and books.

“But I guess I needed something more to pay the bills, so I decided to work with my dad,” Semper said.

When his sister moved to Greensboro in 1999, Semper, his first wife and their two sons soon followed.

Semper became a homebuilder in 2003 as the industry thrived.

“It was a hot time to be a builder,” Semper said.

Until 2008, that is, when recession hit.

Semper was left with several expensive spec homes unsold.

When banks didn’t want to continue financing them, Semper said, he declared personal bankruptcy in 2009.

“It was a really tough time for me,” he said..

Homebound in a snowstorm one day, he went outside and spent hours making a snow sculpture.

It depicted a bearded man resembling the god Neptune, his arm around a long-haired woman.

“I had never made a sculpture in my life,” Semper said.

When Mara Semper saw it, she said, “You need to take some sculpture classes. This is so good.”

He began to draw. In one day, he nearly filled the house with drawings.

At his wife’s urging, Semper took classes in clay sculpting.

And he started to paint. A New York gallery exhibited several of his paintings in a group exhibition.

“I started looking at the art world, saying, ‘At my age, if I am going to take this seriously, I have to do something totally different,’” Semper said.

He remembered working with paper as a paste-up artist in a Miami print shop. He thought of the stacks of paper, and how they moved a bit when cut.

“All of a sudden, the sculpture and the paper came together in my mind,” he said.


The Sempers’ Lake Jeanette home, its backyard brickwork and Felix’s tile-roofed workshop display his artistry.

Here, he creates art for his Revolution Mill gallery. Mara Semper creates a different type of artistry, at Park Place Salon, the hair-styling business they own.


Semper started his first paper sculpture, “Red Head,” about three years ago.

He glued a stack of paper together to resemble a block of wood, then carved it.

At its top, he began to experiment.

He recalled his work as a builder with hollow core doors, and how a fiberboard honeycomb structure inside the door provides strength.

So he glued the top stack of paper in a way that he could expand and retract it.

Semper had carved out his own sculptural niche.

He uses bond paper varying in weight from 20 to 60 pounds.

At first, he used a knife and sandpaper to shape the faces. It was so difficult, he almost gave up.

He developed a special saw and blade. He created a template to glue the paper by hand.

Now a company does the gluing. Lines of glue are spaced 1.5 inches apart on each sheet to create the desired pattern.

“I take that block of paper, and I give it a life,” Semper said.

It’s a lot of paper — more than 7,000 sheets in “Biggie” alone. His Basquiat sculpture weighs about 70 pounds.

He has created smaller paper sculptures, such as lifelike slices of pizza and a “Semper Biggie Burger.” Buyers get them wrapped and packaged in a cheeseburger bag.

His Andy Warhol sculpture holds a box of Cheez-Its crackers.

“These have zero calories and no nutritional value at all,” Semper joked. “They’re very high in fiber, though.”

He has found only one other artist that creates work similar to his — Chinese artist Li Hongbo.

Semper now also turns books into sculpture.

He bought books about Marilyn Monroe, glued them at the covers, then carved her face into them and painted it. A plexiglass cover keeps them together.

He did the same with books about his artistic inspiration, Picasso.

Semper wanted to sculpt another admired artist, the late musician Jimi Hendrix — not in paper, but vinyl.

He collected 100 Hendrix vinyl records, then stacked, blow-torched and shaped his face into them.

It was tedious, smelly work. He wore a mask to guard against fumes.

“Vinyl records, if you do anything to them, they tend to crack and shatter like a glass,” Semper said. “I could never do it again as a spec, because it’s extremely hard.”

He carves a wooden sculpture of Bob Marley, with lots of twists.

Pieces of wood in the sculpture will be hinged, opening as much as 20 feet. Each piece of wood will depict writings, poems and paintings.

He is designing a motorized system to open the sculpture to display its interior art.

So far, Semper’s paintings have sold better than his sculpture.

He has sold more than 100 paintings, most in the $1,200 range. They can be viewed in his gallery and at Mark’s Restaurant on Dolley Madison Road.

In comparison, he has sold four sculptures, two of them cheeseburgers.

Yet sculptures take Semper three or four months to create.

He prices them at $20,000 to $40,000, smaller pieces at $5,000 to $10,000.

Book sculptures run in the $5,000 range.

Or you can buy a burger for $800.

To promote his work, he licenses videos on his sculpture to a media distribution company and other sources. The company makes them available to TV stations and other news outlets worldwide. He hopes that will lead to more contracts and sales.

Yes, he is a businessman, Semper said. But it’s not all about money.

“Art is about giving the world what I have, which is my art,” he said.

See the video + article on News & Record >>

Revolutionizing History At Revolution Mill In Greensboro

In 1898 the Cone brothers opened the South's first flannel mill in northeast Greensboro. In 1982 the mill closed but in 2017 new business is opening.

Self Help Ventures Fund bought the 45-acre property in 2012 and began the $100 million redevelopment. WFMY News 2's Maddie Gardner stopped by the historic mill to check out what's new. 

Cugino Forno Pizzeria opened March 9th. They chose Revolution Mill because they wanted to combine the American history of the mill with the Italian history of the pizzeria. Their wood fire ovens can bake a pie to perfection in 90 seconds and they say they use only the freshest imported ingredients. 

A Greensboro favorite, Natty Greene's is opening a third location at the mill. Owner Kayne Fisher said the new spot will be, "a butcher, a baker and a beer maker," but we'll have to stay tuned to see what that means. Fisher says Revolution Mill is the perfect spot for Natty Greene's because of the Greensboro history that lives there. 

Urban Grinders, a Greensboro art and coffee house, will open their second location in the mill in April. Owners Jeff and Marcus say they can't wait to be at the historic property.

The mill also features 142 loft apartments. One and two bedroom spaces are available to rent. The lofts are in the oldest building at Revolution Mill and many of the original features are highlighted in the floor plans. The tenants are also able to enjoy a fitness and yoga studio, a theater room, demonstration kitchen, dog park and community grills.

See video coverage of Revolution Mill on WFMY2 >> 

Nick Piornack talks about the development of Revolution Mill

More than a hundred years after it was built, one of the Piedmont’s largest buildings is living up to its name.

Nearly four years after the Self-Help Ventures Fund out of Durham started developing the old Cone Revolution Cotton Mill in southeast Greensboro, Business Development Manager Nick Piornack and his team are putting together one unique and innovative development.

First, some history: construction began on the Revolution Mill in the early part of the 20th century. By 1930, it was the largest flannel factory in the world. 6,000 to 10,000 workers in three different shifts rotated in and out every day.

Revolution faded a little more than 50 years later when -- like what happened to many North Carolina textile mills -- work went overseas. Cone Mills ceased operations here in 1982. 

Fast forward to today. It’s a place where people live, work, eat and play -- all in a place that’s also on the National Register of Historic Places.

“The floors, of course, are very important,” Piornack told me when he gave me a tour of the mill recently. “Anywhere there was significant damage we replaced with similar maple and sanded everything out and blended it the best we could.”

Piornack knows blending well. He’s incorporated it in his recruitment of tenants. There are 90 businesses that call Revolution home and he’s looking for more.

“And they are from hair salons to law firms to interior designers,” he said. “And if you walked down the halls you cannot really figure out one type of industry we’re targeting.”

One of the largest businesses in the building so far is LT Apparel. It’s a company based in New York that designs, makes and markets apparel and accessories for some of the country’s top brands. The 30 people in the Greensboro operation focus mainly on the Adidas and Carhartt children’s lines. They work in more than 12,000 square feet in Revolution.

But businesses aren’t the only ones calling Revolution home. There’s a waiting list for the 12 studio spaces for working artists. There’s also an art gallery that’s a collaborative effort between Revolution and UNC-Greensboro’s Weatherspoon Art Museum.

Among the most dynamic parts of the complex runs almost the entire length of the mill’s south building. The 140 apartments feature 26 different floor plans. Rent is in the low $900s for one-bedroom units, low $1000s for two-bedrooms. At this writing, the apartments are about 50 percent leased.

“All of them are built within the fabric and integrity of the mill,” Piornack said. “So where there was a brick wall, we left it. Whether there was a column in the middle of the bedroom, we worked around it.”

And that’s not all. Watch the video that accompanies this article for more on the restaurants and plans for the largest of the mill’s courtyard areas.

See the article on Fox 8 >>



The current political climate seems sure to bring about some amazing protest art, but in Greensboro, local artists will have the revolution brought to them. The new Artist In Residency Revolution (AirRev) program at Revolution Mill gives politically and socially critical artists of the Triad a work space, resources and a platform from which to share their work with others.

AirRev is in the middle of its first season, which began in February and will end in May. The residency gives participants four months of reduced rent in a 1,774 square foot studio space shared with local artists of all stripes, including painters, poets, and filmmakers. AirRev Program Director Rachel Wexler conducted interviews with area artists to tailor the residency to their needs.

“A lot of them expressed a need for building an artist community of folks who are newly graduated,” said Wexler. “There are several arts programs at universities here in Greensboro, so there’s a young arts community, but there’s not enough space to work.”

The first season of AirRev hosted both group arts projects, like Paper 2 Film and the Greensboro Mural Project, as well as solo artists, including Lavinia Jackson, Terri Shalane, Larry Wright, and Kori Sergent.

The AirRev artists come from different backgrounds and favor different mediums, but all are current locals, and all have an element of socio-political commentary to their art. The AirRev program sought out applicants who represented marginalized groups, and whose work encouraged community engagement.

“One of the program requirements is giving back to the community. That may mean giving back to Revolution Mill itself, or to the Greensboro community as a whole,” said Wexler. “Lavinia works with disabled veterans. The Greensboro Mural Project does murals throughout town and builds engagement around the content of those murals.”

Resident artists gain access to Revolution Mill resources, as well as 24/7 access to the studio space. That means there’s no such thing as a typical work day.

“Usually half the artists are here at night,” said Sergent. “There’s not really an average day because we all have jobs.”

Artists often find themselves in the studio in groups of two or three, painting or typing away at odd hours of the night. Sergent, whose mixed media art deals with the fragile state of women’s rights in modern America, said working near the other residents has informed her own creations.

“It’s really inspiring to be around so many different types of artists,” she said.

Participants are required to spend at least 15 hours per week working in the studio, but Sergent estimates that most spend between 20 and 40 hours. Fitting in studio time can be difficult, but some residents view their hours at the Mill as a retreat from the outside world, a haven where they can reflect on their daily life and find meaning in that raw material.

“My art is a representation of me, my blackness, my feelings, and most importantly my babies. It’s me trying to escape,” said Terri Shalane, a resident who uses her paintings to bring awareness to overlooked mental health issues in the black community. “I have also been working on having events that will empower people of color and give them a place where they can show their art.”

The outreach efforts of Shalane, Sergent, and the other AirRev participants join the work of other local groups trying to grow the Triad’s art scene. It seems to be working: Sergent chose to move to Greensboro based on the city’s creative reputation.

“My boyfriend and I had the choice of moving to Greensboro or Savannah, Georgia,” Sergent explained. “I wanted to come here. I love how focused Greensboro’s artists are.”

The second round of residency applications opened March 1, with the second season to start in July. Wexler aims to make future seasons of AirRev a little more structured and a lot more affordable.

“Residents pay $100 a month for the space. In my ideal world, we’d be paying them,” said Wexler.

Wexler wants to set up an exchange in which a local businesses could sponsor a residency in exchange for commissioned work from the artist, be it a mural, an art installation or a workshop.

“In the next round of applications, we’re hoping people can apply for these client-based projects,” said Wexler. “We’re trying to get the word out.”

Client sponsorships would be sure to draw in more talented locals who may have been discouraged by the program’s initial cost. But even with the current rent, Sergent said she has gained valuable experience from connecting with other artists who differ from her personally, but share her passion for the craft.

“I think that’s the best part of a residency,” said Sergent. “It’s about being with like minded people who are on the same grind as you, who still work on art when nothing is saying you have to be an artist.”

Applications for the second season of AirRev are open now through April 15. For more information about AirRev or to apply, visit

See the Yes! Weekly article here >>

Cugino Forno Pizzeria has opened in Greensboro

Cugino Forno Neapolitan Pizza has opened at 1160 Revolution Mill Drive.

Cousins Joseph Ozbey, Yilmaz Guver and Adam Adksoy opened the pizzeria. Cugino is Italian for cousin. Forno is Italian for oven.

The pizzeria specializes in Neapolitan-style pizza using imported ingredients.

Customers sit at picnic tables and watch their custom-order, hand-tossed pizza being baked in 90 seconds in one of three 800-degree specialty ovens.

The menu is small. There are only 11 16-inch specialty pizzas ranging from a vegetarian-friendly Marinara to the Napoletana with Italian sausage and Bufala Mozzarella.

Additional toppings, such as artichoke or caramelized onion can be added to the Margherita pizza. The restaurant also offers salads and Cannoli.  Italian beer and wine will be offered soon.

The pizzeria is in the free-standing building that was a machine shop for the former Revolution Mill. The mill opened in 1899 and produced flannel for decades before closing and falling into disrepair. In 2012, Self-Help assumed ownership of Revolution Mill and is completing the property’s transformation into a mixed-use development of offices and apartments.

Cugino Forno may well be the beginning of the mill campus as a destination for diners. Urban Grinders coffee shop is expected to open in the main building this spring. Natty Greene’s Kitchen + Market, a spin-off from Natty Greene’s Brew Pub featuring a full restaurant charcuterie and bar, is expected to open this year in another free standing building overlooking Buffalo Creek on the campus’ south side. A pedestrian bridge has already been constructed so that patrons can reach the restaurant from parking on the stream’s south bank.

Cugino Forno is open from 11 a.m. until the dough runs out, around 9 p.m.

Follow Cugino Forno on Facebook.

See the News & Record article here >>

Short Orders: Urban Grinders coming to Revolution Mill

Urban Grinders coffee shop is opening at Revolution Mill in Greensboro.

This will be the second location for Urban Grinders, which opened a coffee shop and art gallery in 2015 at 116 N. Elm St. in downtown Greensboro.

The new opening is part of a redevelopment for the historic old textile mill that produced flannel for decades before closing and falling into disrepair.

In 2012, Self-Help assumed ownership of Revolution Mill and is completing the property’s transformation into a mixed-use development.

The coffee shop will be on the first floor of Building 1250, home to more than 45 businesses, art studios and creative firms. It also houses the artist-in-residence program and the WAMRev Gallery, which hosts rotating exhibits in collaboration with Weatherspoon Art Museum.

“Focusing on art and music more so than any other coffee shop has helped to breed a certain culture downtown that you can’t find anywhere else,” said owner Jeff Beck. “We like to tell people we have taken a chunk of New York and plopped it right down in the middle of Greensboro. Urban Grinders at Revolution will have the same spirit as our Elm Street location, but we will be focusing more on a refined coffee shop atmosphere.”

The shop’s open concept will feature seating for 35 to 50 people. It will overlook Revolution Docks — an outdoor plaza that can be used for casual gathering, events and performances.

The coffee shop will open in early spring.

It joins dining concepts Cugino Forno Pizzeria and Natty Greene’s Kitchen + Market, which also are expected to open on the campus this spring.

For more information, visit http://revolutionmill

See the News & Record article here >> 

FIRST LOOK: Inside the new Revolution Mill Apartments

Character and convenience are two strong selling points for the new Revolution Mill Apartments in Greensboro.

No two units are exactly alike. In fact, Revolution Mill leasing representative Meredith Frye said 26 different floor plans are among the 140 units. And even if a unit is among the eight “most-common” floor plans, it has its own unique characteristics, whether it’s the outline of a bricked-over service elevator on the wall or pipes and duct work below the 15-20-foot high ceilings.

Since opening at the beginning of February, the former textile mill, about two miles north of downtown Greensboro, has welcomed 30 residents on its two levels. Another 30 are signed and will move in soon. A similar number are available to residents eligible for reduced rent.

The 50-acre Revolution Mill property, once home of the South's largest flannel mill, is hoped to become an attraction and a showcase for redevelopment. The former mill was purchased for redevelopment by Self-Help Ventures Fund in 2012.

Under the same roof as several offices, the apartment section has its own secure entrances. At least three restaurants have committed to the mill, including Natty Greene’s Kitchen + Market, a spin-off of the brew pub and brewery, and Cugino Forno Pizzeria, offering Neapolitan-style pizza, scheduled to open before the end of March.

Apartment attractions include the high ceilings and new windows modeled after the originals that measure either 10 or 15 feet in height and offer tremendous light. Each unit has restored brick walls with wood beams and steel light fixtures hanging from the ceiling as well as modern kitchens.

Rent is $915 to $945 for one-bedroom units, and $1,150 for two-bedroom units. All units have one bathroom.

The spacious hallways are climate controlled with original brick and beams. A courtyard planned as a gathering spot and a venue for shows is under construction.

See the Triad Business Journal article here >>

Creative (Work) Space

Darryl Howard doesn’t feel like he’s ever going to work.

That’s because his office doesn’t look like your typical, drab workspace. You won’t find chunky, impersonal office furniture from the 1970s. Or faded carpets hosting crumbs from the meals of long gone employees.

His office at Revolution Mill is filled with artwork that includes paintings, sculpture and found objects. The floors are hardwood, and the large windows and high ceilings bring in abundant natural light.

Howard’s design and technology studio, Space Logix, also includes workspaces for a dress designer, pharmacist, aquarium lighting manufacturer, angel investor, physician and several corporate remote employees.

Children and pets are welcome there.

And occasionally, they have after-work wine tastings.

“Most of us at one time or another have spent our working lives in a dull, traditional workplace. We enter feeling uninspired and leave feeling drained,” Howard says. “Work has changed. Workers’ expectations for their work environment has changed. ... I built this location to satisfy my own needs as a place I would like to work.”

It’s a space set within a campus that includes about 250,000 square feet of office space, 142 loft apartments, restaurants, art galleries, fitness center, yoga studio and event venues. Many of the offices, like Howard’s, resemble a spread from a modern furnishings catalog. 

The site holds significance in Greensboro’s manufacturing history. Brothers Moses and Ceasar Cone partnered with longtime friends, the Sternbergers, to open Revolution Mill in 1898. It became the first flannel mill in the South. The mill closed in 1982 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. There is a permanent gallery documenting its history on the campus.

Today, the mill hosts a mix of professionals, including photographers, health care workers, hairstylists, attorneys and counselors.

There are regular socials for tenants, and an amphitheatre will feature a variety of entertainment events.

“It is so diverse but so casual and laid-back that not working here, I believe, would be difficult,” Howard says. “You get so used to the beauty, the different creatives, the diversity and the expansive campus that it takes on more of being a physical part of you. I don’t think that anyone refers to it as the ‘office.’ Coming into ‘work’ never feels like ‘work,’ rather just a part of the natural rhythm of your creativity.”

See the News & Record article here >>

History Comes To Life At New Revolution Mill Apartments

An old factory transformed into modern, stylish apartments. 

Greensboro's history in the textile industry is undeniable when you step into the newly transformed Revolution Mill Apartments

Exposed brick walls, original hardwood floors, and high ceilings and windows are all evidence of the area's evolution. 

Revolution Mill was first known as the Proximity Cotton Mill. The factory was built in the late 1800's and was a leading manufacturer of denim through the 1900's. 

The mill eventually closed in 1982 due to decreasing popularity in flannels. 

Revolution Studios purchased the old mill in the early 2000's and has since been transforming the campus into offices, event space, restaurants, and now apartments. 

The first generation of tenants moved into the new apartments in February. 

See the WFMY article here >>

Fall Food Truck Festival

We're gearing up for Sunday's Fall Food Truck Festival! With 18 confirmed trucks and great live music we know this is going to be a winning event. If you're looking to learn more about our apartments and development, come find one of our Revolution Mill staff members to learn more about the project!

Natty Greene's + Stonefield Cellars will be serving beer and wine, and for your listening pleasure we'll have a few talented musicians taking the stage: 

12 - 1:30  Emma Lee Music
1:45 - 3:45 Star Wizard
4:00 - 6:00 The Tyler Millard Band

This is Spring Garden's last food truck rodeo of the year, so we're planning to finish the season out with a bang! 

Peruse the line-up here: 

You say you want a revolution...

Southern Railway trains once carried boxcars of cotton for the manufacture of denim, flannel and corduroy to the cluster of Cone Mills factories in northeast Greensboro. The tracks still cross Yanceyville Street, as they have for decades, and run alongside a shuttered red-brick mill that developers envision as a potential boutique hotel.

Photo property of Business North Carolina

Photo property of Business North Carolina

Follow the tracks across a trestle spanning North Buffalo Creek, and more than 30 years of dreaming gives way to reality — a construction site with piles of gravel and sand, and the rumble of trucks and a yellow excavator next to the tall, sandy brick smokestack of Revolution Mill.

“It is good to see a structure like that get used again,’’ says Joe Hill, whose parents made denim for Cone Mills. The retired facilities director for Guilford County Schools grew up in the mill village that he says could benefit economically from a $100 million redevelopment of the 117-year-old mill.

Self-Help, a Durham-based credit union and lender, bought the 512,000-square-foot factory out of foreclosure in 2012. Most of the office space it inherited was leased, so it renovated more.

Whether people want to live in the heart of Greensboro’s mill district will be a test not only for Self-Help but also for boosters of Greensboro’s center city, which is 2 miles south. The additional housing is needed, according to Zach Matheny, president and CEO of Downtown Greensboro Inc. The central business district’s population of about 2,300 people is “a very low number for a city of Greensboro’s size,’’ he says. “I’d like to see it double. The more residents we have downtown, the more vibrant our businesses will be.’’

Read the rest on Business North Carolina >>

Preservation Celebration Recap

- Food provided by Pepper Moon
- Beer provided by Natty Greene's and Mother Earth Brewing
- Live music by the Jim Mayberry Band 
- Our architect, Eddie Belk, gave remarks and spoke about Revolution
- More than 200 people attended and toured through the project

Here at Revolution Mill we're not shy about our passion for preservation. Ask one of our Self-Help developers and they might tell you it's their dream to have people who appreciate the historic beauty of our campus wandering the halls every day… so when we got the opportunity to bring a whole conference of preservation lovers to campus we leapt at the chance.

Last week we had the chance to host the Preservation Celebration as a part of Preservation NC’s 3-day Annual Conference. As North Carolina’s only private non-profit statewide historic preservation organization, Preservation NC works to protect and promote buildings, landscapes and sites that are important to the diverse heritage of our state.

Preservation Celebration was one of the first events held on the Revolution Docks and in our WAMRev gallery. After the main event, we hosted the Young Professionals After Party in the 1160 event space -- a fun, casual get-together for the young and young at heart!

Flip through images of the event below – and be sure to follow us on Facebook to stay up to date with all of the upcoming campus events. 

Modular elevator installation

Our new all-glass elevator arrives on site first thing tomorrow morning! The first of it's kind in Greensboro, it will be craned into place by Resolute Elevator LLC.

Check out some of the press coverage here:

- North Carolina Construction News

- The Sun News (New Bern, NC)

Weatherspoon and Revolution Mill Announce Exciting Collaboration

The Weatherspoon Art Museum at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Revolution Mill are excited to announce that they have partnered to present a dynamic painting installation by Raleigh-based artist James Marshall (aka Dalek) inside the newly completed Gallery 1250 located at 1250 Revolution Mill Drive.

Titled Articulate, Marshall’s design was inspired by a desire to both feature the angular geometries found throughout the historic mill building and set off the vibrant red that has been used as the signature color of its renovation. He created a composition in which interlocking and overlapping bands fit together to form an array of rectangles, diamonds, and bisected squares. His use of wall space emphasizes the height and depth of the gallery, while a cool palette of greens and blues contrast with, and give greater definition to, the hot red of the historic industrial duct work overhead.

“Marshall’s installation is stunning” says WAM curator, Emily Stamey. “He not only responded thoughtfully to the space, but used every inch of the gallery walls to dramatic effect.”

WAM and Revolution are working to make this installation the first in a series of ongoing WAMRev collaborations, reflecting a shared commitment to presenting bold and imaginative exhibitions and reaching new audiences.  

WAMRev is located in Revolution Mill’s newly redeveloped Building 1250. The gallery was designed in the center of the floor, with walkways through the space and large glass windows so that tenants and visitors can continually view and experience the art. The 1250 building is just part of the 50-acre mixed-use campus, which is home to artist studios and creative office spaces, and also features a multimedia gallery for film installations, a future café, 142 character-filled apartments, and an outdoor event and performance space named Revolution Docks. 

“We are thrilled to partner with the Weatherspoon in this space”, says Revolution Mill development manager, Micah Kordsmeier. “Developing a creative and inspired campus has always been a central focus of our work at Revolution, and so it’s very exciting to work with such a committed arts institution and to  extend WAM’s reach into new communities surrounding Revolution. It is one of many ways we are engaging with Greensboro’s creative community.”

Articulate will remain on view through the end of 2016, and future collaborative projects are already in the works, featuring contemporary artists representing a breadth of mediums, styles, and cultural experiences.

Learn more about this installation and the WAMRev partnership at or on social media using #WAMRev.

The installation is on display at 1250 Revolution Mill Dr., 1st Floor

Monday-Friday 11-6; select evening + weekend hours will begin this fall.