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Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art

Coordinates: 36°07′12″N 80°17′24″W / 36.11995°N 80.28991°W / 36.11995; -80.28991
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The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) is a multimedia contemporary art gallery in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

SECCA has no permanent collection but offers exhibitions of works by artists with regional, national, and international recognition. Although founded as a private institution, it became an operating entity of the North Carolina Museum of Art under the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources in 2007. Admission is free.

SECCA has been accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) since 1979, one of only 300 museums in the United States to earn this distinction.[citation needed]

In 2023, the North Carolina General Assembly renamed SECCA as the North Carolina Museum of Art Winston-Salem. The SECCA Foundation was dissolved, with its assets transferred to the NCMA Foundation.


SECCA was founded in 1956 as the Winston-Salem Gallery of Fine Arts in Old Salem.[1][2] James Gordon Hanes of the locally prominent Hanes family, who died in 1972, bequeathed his Norman Revival home built in 1929 and grounds to the gallery. The home was augmented with purpose-built exhibition space, and SECCA moved to the new location in 1977 under its current name. In 1990 the facility expanded again.[3][1]

SECCA was the subject of national political and media notoriety in 1989 when 23 U.S. Senators signed a letter challenging its involvement, along with the National Endowment for the Arts, with a $15,000 arts prize awarded to controversial photographer Andres Serrano.[4][5] Former U.S. Senators Jesse Helms (R-NC) and Alfonse D'Amato (R-NY) denounced SECCA in speeches on the floor of the Senate, taking particular issue with what has become Serrano's most famous work, "Piss Christ," a photograph of a crucifix submerged in the artists's urine.[6]

Financial difficulties that began in 2003 forced SECCA to convey its property and operations to the state.

As of 2014, the curator of the non-profit gallery is Cora Fisher.[7] Exhibitions since 2010 include works by Tomory Dodge, Jennifer West, Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová, Alison Elizabeth Taylor, Clark Whittington, Mark Jenkins, and Lee Walton.[citation needed]


SECCA has three exhibition rooms with 8,896 square feet (826.5 m2) of space and a 294-seat auditorium.[3] The complex reopened in 2010 after an extensive renovation by Szostak Design.[3]


  1. ^ a b Rawls, Molly Grogan (2010). Old Salem and Salem College. Arcadia Publishing. p. 103. ISBN 9780738586632.
  2. ^ Violette, Caroline; Taqqu, Rachelle (January 1982). Issues in Supporting the Arts: An Anthology Based on the Conference "The Economic Impact of the Arts". Graduate School of Business and Public Administration, Cornell University. ISBN 9780941182010.
  3. ^ a b c "History of SECCA". Art Museum Touring. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
  4. ^ Cowen, Tyler (10 January 2009). Good and Plenty: The Creative Successes of American Arts Funding. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-1400827008.
  5. ^ "In the Eye of the Storm : Inside the North Carolina arts foundation that's under fire for sponsoring a tour of 'offensive' artworks". Los Angeles Times. 1989-08-13. Retrieved 2020-05-08.
  6. ^ Gehman, Geoff (1990-01-21). "'OFFENSIVE' ART PHOTOGRAPHER PLANS TALK AT LEHIGH U." The Morning Call. Retrieved 2020-05-08.
  7. ^ Patterson, Tom (2014). "SECCA'S new curator has lived, worked among artists since childhood". Winston-Salem Journal. Retrieved 2020-05-08.

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36°07′12″N 80°17′24″W / 36.11995°N 80.28991°W / 36.11995; -80.28991