Alvin Frega

”I believe that successful public art requires substantial interaction with everyone who has an interest and a stake in the project.”

Al Frega holds an MFA from UNC-Chapel Hill and has taught art at UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Wilmington, NC Central University, and Penland School of Craft.  He has been awarded three state percentage-for-the-arts commissions, two municipal art commissions and twelve project grants.  His art appears in over a dozen motion pictures/television shows and has been exhibited in 100+ shows nationally.


My interest in doing public scale work goes back to 1977, as evidenced by my first image, “Bag Lady” (weathered steel, approx. 8 feet tall). Over the years my work has focused almost entirely on recycled materials and the stories they carry. I have been strongly involved in the recent trend in adaptive reuse of historic factory buildings for residential and retail space.

My collection of material has grown to over 100 tons of salvaged architectural granite, marble, limestone, as well as stainless steel, bronze, aluminum, steel and cast iron artifacts. For example, I own approximately 20,000 linotype matrices. These intricate molds of highly machined brass (approximately .75 x 1.25 inch, with thickness varying depending on the type being cast) reflect a historic process of creating print that wasthe standard for decades.

My chalices began in 1985 as an attempt to make a series of one hundred objects, all related yet each unique. I chose the chalice image for its loaded history as an icon common to multiple cultures and movements, symbolizing humankind’s eternal quest and striving for perfection and “well-being.” What I thought would be a challenging “obsessive counting series” of table-top chalices has never stopped; the chalices have grown in variation and scale, although all continue to be fabricated from industrial relics.


Al is available for public and private commissions. Please contact us at or (919) 632 8805 to set up a consultation.


List of Selected Works

2015     Reese Memorial Bench, Morgan Creek Trail, Town of Chapel Hill

2015     Architectural Jewelry, site specific commission, lobby West Village 3, Durham, NC

2014     Sculptural Gates, Morgan Creek Trail Expansion, Chapel Hill, NC

2014     Downtown Durham, Inc., commemorative public sculpture for Bill Kalkhof, CCB Plaza Durham, NC

2013     Commissioned memorial bench, Durham Central Park, (Ann and Lex Alexander)

2012     Sculptural entrance signage, Marquee Station, Fuquay Marina, NC

2012     Weingarden Memorial Bench, Durham Central Park, NC

2012     Commissioned bench, NC Botanical Gardens (Ann and Lex Alexander) Chapel Hill, NC

2010     Annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, Cary Visual Arts and Town of Cary, NC.  “Chalice” Best in Show

2009     Chapel Hill Greenways Trail System Expansion, Chapel Hill, NC,  Design of Public Art and Amenity Prototypes for future Trail use through interactive “community dialogs”.  Chapel Hill, NC

2008     Sculptural Signage for Historic Parish Street, Durham, NC

2007     Sculptural Amenities using Industrial Relics, Duke Corporate Education, Lucky Strike Building, American Tobacco Campus, Durham, NC

2006     Sculptural Amenities using Industrial Artifacts, Motricity Incorporated, Hill Building, American Tobacco Campus, Durham NC

2006     Bike Racks and Bench utilizing forged railroad rail, Wake County Parks, American Tobacco Trail, Raleigh NC

2005     Benches, Bike Racks, and Signage Frames using recycled jail bars, NC Museum of Art

2003     Artistic Coordinator for stage design, Durham Central Park. Funded NC Arts Council “Creating Places” grant

2000     Artworks for State Buildings, for Old Revenue Building, Raleigh, NC (with Cary Esser) Sculptural railings and balconies, Peabody Place, Durham, NC

1999     Fountain, Children’s Garden, New Hanover County Arboretum, Wilmington, NC “Cloud Lights,” NO-FO at the Forum, Wilmington, NC

1998     Wall relief and benches, Laney High School, Wilmington, NC
Bronze Memorial Garden Sculpture, St Andrews on the Sound Church, Wilmington, NC

1997     Artworks for State Buildings, for Moore Hall, West Carolina University
Oceanview Mission Episcopal Church; altar, lectern, baptismal font, crucifix, candlesticks 1996 Durham Magnet School for the Arts, Sculptural Gate built with students

1994     Sculptural fountain for New Hanover County Library Park, Wilmington, NC 1993 Sculptural fountain for Scotch Springs Plaza, Fayetteville, NC

1993    Incorporated sculpture for television and movie sets (The Crow, Super Mario Brothers, Twilight Zone, Bad With Numbers, Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, Funny Valentine, Bruno, Takedown, Mary Jane’s Last Dance, Dawson’s Creek)

1992     North Carolina State University Fine Arts Center. Temporary site-specific collaboration with Be Gardiner Centerfest, Durham, NC. Temporary installation with materials from Northern Telecom and GTE

1991     Sculptural railing and benches, Morgan Imports, Durham, NC

1990     “North Carolina Museum of Art Invitational Triennial,” Outdoor installation, “Eighteenth Annual North Carolina Exhibit,” Fayetteville, NC, “Fifth Juried Exhibition,” Center/Gallery, Carrboro, NC

1989     “Outdoor Sculpture,” Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC , “Sculpture T our 89/90,” U of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN , “Sculpture 2D/3D,1” Center/Gallery, Artscenter, Carrboro, NC , “17th Annual Competition for NC Artists,” Fayetteville Museum of Art, NC , “Black, White, and Grey,” Durham Arts Council, NC

1988     “Urban Artscape,” Greenhill Art Center, Greensboro, NC , “Sculpture in the Garden,” NC Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, NC, “Outdoor Sculpture Invitational: Elon College, NC , “Red Clay Survey,” Huntsville Museum of Art, AL , “Glaxo, Selected Works…” RTP, NC , “Appalachian State National Sculpture Exhibit,” Boone, NC , “Tampa Triennial” (M. Danoff, R.A. Maass) Tampa Museum of Art, FL, “Thirty- Third Annual Juried Art Show ,” Durham Art Guild, NC ,”Drawings,” C.J. Smith Gallery, ASU, NC, “Tri-State Sculptor’s Annual Exhibit,” Sawtooth Center, Winston-Salem, NC, “Sculpture: AI Frega,” Arts and Humanities Center, UNC, Chapel Hill

1986-87            “Faculty Art Exhibit,” Hanes Art Center, UNC, Chapel Hill, “Romantic Ironry: Works by AI Frega,” Louise Brown Gallery, Duke University, NC, “AI Frega: Sculpture: Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC, “Column Cauldron,” Public Installation for 1987 Olympic Festival, Chapel Hill, NC, “The Southeastern Juried Exhibition,” Fine Arts Museum of the South, Mobile, AL, “Northern Telecom Sixth Annual Exhibition of NC Sculpture,” RTP, NC, “New Directions in the Southeast: Sculpture,” Knoxville, TN, “Art of the Carolinas, 29th Annual Springs Art Show, Fort Mill, SC, “Birmingham Biennial IV,” Birmingham Museum of Art, AL, “The 1987 Members Show,” Durham Art Guild, NC, “Large Scale Works,” Durham Art Guild, NC, “Dimensions ’87,,” Associated Artists, Winston-Salem, NC , “32nd Annual Juried Art Show,” Durham Art Guild, NC

1980-85            “Northern Telecom’s Fourth Annual Exhibit of NC Art, ” RTP, NC, “40th Albright-Knox Western New York Exhibition,” Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, “Three Rivers Art Festival,”large-scale outdoor sculpture, Pittsburgh, PA, “Niagara Falls Sculpture Park Invitational,” NY, “38th Western New York Exhibition: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, “30th Annual Juried Art Show,” Durham Art Guild, NC, “Art From Industry ’84,” Upton Hall Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, “Festival ’85, Art Now,” Architectural Jewelry Installation, Hanes Art Center, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC, “Chautauqua County Invitational,” Rockefeller Arts Center, Fredonia, NY