Mar 292013




Friday, March 29, 2013

The weather has not been indicative of the fact that the collegiate school year is drawing to a close. Even so, classes for East Carolina University students will have their last day in one month, and the school’s Undergraduate Exhibition has on display some of the best of its students’ artwork for the year.

The annual exhibition began March 7 and can be viewed at the Wellington B. Gray Gallery on campus through April 6. This year’s exhibition was judged by artist and former ECU student Catherine Coulter Lloyd, who serves as the visual arts specialist at the Maria V. Howard Arts Center in Rocky Mount.

Area coordinators who are members of the faculty at ECU, chose the pieces for the show that are either what they believe to be best of their students’ work “or to reflect what’s currently going on in their studio,” said Tom Braswell, who is the interim director of the Gray Gallery.

The 48 awards given were sponsored by the school’s guilds and art galleries in Greenville.

Don’t overlook the seemingly unrelated posters, advertisements and magazine articles on the back wall of the gallery. A closer examination of the beer bottles grouped together at the far end of the room reveals they are not part of some abstract installation as one might expect, but rather the labeling of the bottles is the work itself. All of these are examples of the graphic design contribution to the exhibition which could easily have been mistaken to have come out of the pages of Time magazine or off of the beer shelf at Harris Teeter.

“There’s a lot of very nice work in the exhibition, as always,” Braswell said. “It’s always interesting to see what comes in through the door. Some years, one area will have more work and the next year it will have less. There’s an ebb and a flow and change from year to year.”

This year, Braswell said that there was more graphic design work and more work in the show overall than any other year in his five-year tenure, but there was slightly less sculpture, ceramics, photography and woodwork. There was also a new film category this year, called camp, in which Brian Korff won the only award given for his film “Artist Insight: Kenny Hamby.”

Other categories include animation, illustration, photography, fabric design, weaving, printmaking, sculpture, metal design, painting and drawing and foundation.

“The sheer amount of work doesn’t allow you to play with space at all,” Braswell said of curating the exhibition. “I’m not fond of salon-style hanging, but there were 58 pieces of graphic design work and there was no way to get all of that in the gallery without hanging it salon-style on the wall.”

Much of the work in the show is the result of assignments given in class. Observers, therefore, might be able to get a sense of the art curriculum at ECU just by viewing the exhibition.

“If you walked through there every year for a few years, or even skipped a few years, you’d start getting a sense of some of the assignments that are made in some of the studio areas because you would start realizing a pattern and a trend,” Braswell said.

Contact Natalie Sayewich at 252-329-9596 or

via The Daily Reflector.


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