Category Archives: Art

NEA grant to fund study on social, economic impact of glassblowing on Farmville

East Carolina University’s College of Fine Arts and Communication has received a $20,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant to research the cultural and economic impact of a glassblowing studio in Farmville.

GlasStation

The GlasStation on West Wilson Street in Farmville (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

The NEA announced the awards June 14. ECU was one of 19 organizations in North Carolina to receive the competitive national funding.

The studio, called the GlasStation, is a former service station in Farmville’s historic downtown repurposed as a glassblowing studio and education center. ECU began teaching academic classes and conducting community outreach programs in the facility in January.

The two-year award will primarily fund research by ECU graduate students in anthropology and economics on the social and economic revitalization impact of the GlasStation on Farmville’s business district. Residents will be asked about the GlasStation, how it affects their sense of identity and community cohesion and quality of life. Researchers will also look at how property is used, sold or rented in the historic business district. Surveys, interviews and observation will help provide data for the research.

First-year graduate student Ronson Schultz rotates a fiery glass object.

First-year graduate student Ronson Schultz rotates a fiery glass object.

The GlasStation is a cooperative community venture between the Farmville Group, a volunteer economic development association interested in growing the local economy through the arts, the Tabitha M. DeVisconti Trust and ECU.

Kate Bukoski, director of ECU’s School of Art and Design, is the lead principal investigator of the study. Christine Avenarius and David Griffiths of the Department of Anthropology and Chun Kuang of the Department of Economics are co-principal investigators. Michael Crane of the College of Fine Arts and Communication also is an investigator.

For more information, visit https://www.arts.gov/news/2017/nea-announces-grants-support-arts-every-us-state-and-jurisdiction or see an earlier news story about the GlasStation.

 

–by Harley Dartt, University Communication

Mathematical sculpture workshop spotlights the math behind art

Applied mathematician and sculptor Dr. George Hart led an April 7 workshop in Jenkins Fine Arts Center at East Carolina University which spotlighted the math behind art.

Hart, an interdepartmental research professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, demonstrated how mathematics is creative in unexpected ways.

Dr. George Hart is an applied mathematician and sculptor. (photos by Cliff Hollis)

Dr. George Hart is an applied mathematician and sculptor. (photos by Cliff Hollis)

Twenty-seven students, faculty and staff from across campus as well as teachers from the greater Greenville community assembled two of Hart’s sculptures and designed two of their own.

The event was organized by Dr. Sviatoslav Archava, teaching associate professor of mathematics at ECU.

Workshop participants started by connecting plastic struts and connector balls from a Zometool kit, forming shapes that would prove to be foundational for the sculptures that they would create.

The sculpture “Autumn.” (photos by Cliff Hollis)

The sculpture “Autumn.”
(photos by Cliff Hollis)

The first sculpture, named “Autumn”, was assembled from 60 identical laser-cut wood pieces that were connected using cable ties. Working together, the participants explored the possible ways to connect the pieces, a task that developed spatial perception and visual reasoning. The solution for the sculpture involved two phases. The first phase was a finding a solution to connect three pieces. After that, it was possible to build the sculpture by combining the trio of connected pieces to other trios. Only one way to connect the pieces led to a beautiful structure they were trying to assemble. The following facts about the sculpture were noted by the participants with Hart’s help:

  • “Autumn” may be viewed as an artistic version of a regular dodecahedron, a solid that is formed by 12 regular pentagons.
  • Sixty pieces from which the sculpture is built lie in 30 planes (two in each plane). The 30 planes are the facial planes of the five cubes inscribed in the dodecahedron or, equivalently, of the rhombic tricontahedron.

 

The "Ambagesque" sculpture.

The “Ambagesque” sculpture.

The second sculpture, named “Ambagesque” (from the Latin word for “tangle”), also had 60 pieces, which were laser-cut from colored acrylic sheets. The pieces lie in 20 different planes (three in each plane). Despite the smaller number of planes involved, it was much more difficult to assemble due to the non- edge-to-edge connections and more complicated geometry. On a few occasions, participants needed Hart’s help to find the correct way to proceed.

Assembling the sculptures gave the participants a sense of the mental processes that mathematicians use in their research and the excitement and pleasure of “figuring things out.”

At the end of the workshop, participants designed their own paper sculpture. This involved changing the faces of the rhombic tricontahedron so the altered faces could be glued back together to create a visually appealing form.

Participants went away with an idea of the underlying shapes, the curiosity to look for patterns in complex-looking sculptures they may see elsewhere or design themselves, and having experienced the thrill of exploring the world around them mathematically.

For more information on Hart and his work, visit http://georgehart.com/.

 

 

-by Dr. Slava Archava, Teaching Associate Professor of Mathematics

 

School of Art and Design to host 2017 MFA thesis exhibition

The East Carolina University School of Art and Design will present the 2017 MFA Thesis Exhibition beginning April 21 through May 12 in the Wellington B. Gray Gallery in Jenkins Fine Arts Center. The artists will be honored with a reception in the gallery on Friday, May 5 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Graduate student artwork by Greg Banks.

Graduate student artwork by Greg Banks

The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

The work of seven artists graduating from the ECU master of fine arts program will be exhibited. They are Greg Banks, Brett Beasley, Addison Brown, Alex Ingle, Barbara McFadyen, Abir Mohsen and Hosanna Rubio.

The exhibition includes ceramics, metal design and photography.

The gallery is located off 5th Street near the intersection with Jarvis Street in Jenkins Fine Arts Center. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The gallery is closed for university holidays. Individuals with disabilities who require accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act should contact the Department of Disability Support Services at least two weeks prior to the event at 252-737-1016. For more information, visit http://www.ecu.edu/cs-cfac/soad/graygallery/index.cfm.

 

-by Harley Dartt, University Communication

Joyner exhibit showcases trappings of early healthcare

Joyner Library is hosting the traveling exhibit “The Sick Room: Invalid Feeders and Bedside Necessities” in the Verona Joyner Langford North Carolina Collection on the third floor of the library. The exhibit, open through the month of May, showcases a variety of items — both beautiful and useful — that helped ease invalids back to health during the Victorian Period.

Early healthcare items on display in Joyner Library (Photos by Layne Carpenter)

Early healthcare items on display in Joyner Library. (Photos by Layne Carpenter)

Caring for a sick family member was a common part of life, and any bedroom could become the “sick room” where a convalescing patient would rest undisturbed from the difficulties of life.

“The exhibit gives us a better understanding of what life was like taking care of sick family members during the late 19th century,” said Anne Anderson, exhibit curator for the Country Doctor Museum. “This responsibility usually fell to the woman of the household, and much of her time might have been spent using the types of objects featured in the exhibit.

“This concept still connects to us today where an illness can have a huge impact on family life.”

On loan from the Country Doctor Museum in Bailey, North Carolina, the exhibit includes feeders, baby rattles, bedpans, and an invalid chair.

The exhibit also offers many pieces from the private collection of Brenda Rewalt of Bolivia, North Carolina, a retired nurse who has collected more than 700 feeders and related items, some dating back to the 1700s.

“Brenda Rewalt’s collection of invalid feeders is one of the best in the country, and the Country Doctor Museum is very fortunate to include some of her beautiful pieces in this exhibit,” said Anderson. “Her knowledge about the objects, both as a collector and nurse, helped inform the exhibit’s interpretation of life in the sick room.”

On April 6 from 1-3 p.m. in the first floor lobby of Joyner Library, Anderson will offer students an opportunity to participate in a related hands-on activity. Students will grind up medicinal herbs such as eucalyptus, rosemary and peppermint to make medicinal herb sachets, while Anderson and other Joyner Special Collections staff speak on how these herbs were used as home remedies, particularly in sick rooms.

Activities will continue on the third floor, and students are also encouraged to visit the exhibit and use the iPad kiosk to vote on their favorite exhibit item. Results will be posted to Joyner Library’s social media platforms.
“This is our first exhibit installation at Joyner Library and we are very grateful for the opportunity to share our passion for medical history with a new audience,” said Anderson.

For additional information, please contact the Country Doctor Museum at 252-235-4165 or email Anne Anderson, andersonan@ecu.edu.

 

 

-by Kelly Dilda, Joyner Library

 

ECU’s annual Youth Arts Festival set for March 25

East Carolina University’s annual Youth Arts Festival will be held on the campus mall from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday, March 25.

The event, hosted by the ECU School of Art and Design, is free and open to the public. The festival is geared to elementary and middle school children, but all ages are welcome.

In case of rain, the festival will be held in Jenkins Fine Arts Center on East 5th Street.

A youngster tries on a mask at the 2016 ECU Youth Arts Festival. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

A youngster tries on a mask at the 2016 ECU Youth Arts Festival. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

More than 150 visual and performing artists are expected. Musical, dance and theatrical groups also will perform. Children will have the opportunity to meet artists demonstrating activities such as wheel-thrown ceramics, watercolor painting, weaving, blacksmithing, papermaking, printmaking, sculpture, portraiture and other visual arts.

Children also can create their own artwork with the help of professional artists and ECU art students.

The event is supported by grants from the ECU Office of the Provost, College of Fine Arts and Communication, School of Art and Design, Student Involvement and Leadership, Ledonia Wright Cultural Center, Recreation and Wellness, Uptown Art and Supply, Friends of the ECU School of Art and Design, North Carolina Arts Council, Christy’s Euro Pub and Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge.

For more information, the festival is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/ECU-Youth-Arts-Festival/145899762138141 or http://www.ecu.edu/cs-cfac/soad/youth-arts.cfm or contact Dindy Reich, coordinator of the Youth Arts Festival, at reichd@ecu.edu or 252-328-5749.

-by Crystal Baity

Joyner Library announces exhibition winners

East Carolina University’s Joyner Library has announced the winners of its ninth annual Graduate Student Art and Design Exhibition. Winners were selected from 43 artworks by 20 artists that have been on display since the exhibition’s Oct. 20 opening.

“Jamal Roberts,” by Andrew Wells, graphite and acrylic

“Jamal Roberts,” by Andrew Wells, graphite and acrylic

Winning the Friends of Joyner Library Purchase Award — the competition’s marquee award that comes with a $1,000 prize — was Andrew Wells for his graphite and acrylic painting “Jamal Roberts.”

“When I first saw ‘Jamal Roberts,’ I was struck by its power and relevance,” said Joyner Library Director Jan Lewis, who selected the winner. “In a world where people are too often judged and categorized based on external or superficial characteristics, Andrew Wells reminds us of the pain this causes. Unfortunately, ‘Jamal Roberts’ was as relevant 30 years ago as it is today; I can only hope that 30 years from now, as part of Joyner Library’s permanent art collection, it will be viewed in a historical context, not as a still-current depiction of society.”

Other award winners were:

  • Hosanna Rubio received the College of Fine Arts and Communication’s $500 Dean’s Merit Award for the enamel and metal series “1st Timothy 2:12, Deuteronomy 23.2 and Judges 21:2”
  • Addison Brown, winner of the School of Art and Design’s $350 Director’s Award for the photograph on aluminum “Interrogation”
  • Alex Ingle, winner of the School of Art and Design’s $250 Award for the ceramic sculpture Happy Valentine’s Day
  • Chris Morgan, winner of the Dowdy Student Store’s $50 Award for the bronze sculpture Breaking Free into Subconsciousness

 

Juror Matt Amante, Pitt Community College art instructor, complimented the diversity and strength of the entries.

“Interrogation,” by Addison Brown, photograph on aluminum

“Interrogation,” by Addison Brown, photograph on aluminum

“I am happy with what I selected and feel that they are very deserving of the awards, but I had to almost constantly second-guess myself,” he said. “I appreciated the fact that nearly all of the work forced me to want to spend more time with it and consider it.”

The competition is a collaboration between Joyner Library and the School of Art and Design to showcase some of the best work of the year by art and design students.

“The exhibition provides an opportunity to recognize the artists as well as the faculty from whom they learned. We are thrilled to share their creations with the university community through this annual exhibition,” Lewis said.

The exhibition is on display until Jan. 10 in the Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery on the second floor of Joyner Library.
–by Jules Norwood

ECU School of Art and Design presents the Coastal Carolina Clay Guild Exhibition

by Dana Wilde-Ramsing

Five alumni from East Carolina University will have pieces on display in the Coastal Carolina Clay Guild Exhibition to be held June 3-30 in the Wellington B. Gray Gallery. There is an opening reception with many of the artists on Friday, June 3, from 5 until 7:30 p.m.

The exhibition features ceramic art work in a variety of styles and aesthetics by 35 artists from the greater Wilmington area including the following ECU alumni: Richard Heiser, Jacob Herrmann, Vicky Smith, Kathy Whitley and Dina Wilde-Ramsing.

The Coastal Carolina Clay Guild was established in 2007 and now has more than 100 members from the coastal areas of North and South Carolina.

by Brian Evans (Contributed photos)

The Wellington B. Gray Gallery is located off of 5th and Jarvis Streets on campus in the Jenkins Fine Arts Center. Summer gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the exhibition.

For more information, contact Tom Braswell, interim gallery director, at 252-328-1312 or visit www.ecu.edu/graygallery.

ECU School of Art and Design hosts 2016 MFA Thesis Exhibition

East Carolina University’s School of Art and Design is hosting the 2016 MFA Thesis Exhibition until May 20 in the Wellington B. Gray Gallery.

The 2016 exhibiting artists who will graduate with master of fine arts degrees in May are Sarah Harvell, Alyssa Karpa and Amber D Watts.

Artwork by ECU graduate student Sarah Harvell featured at the 2016 MFA Thesis Exhibition

The exhibition includes a wide range of materials and aesthetics with artists representing three studio areas in the School of Art and Design—Harvell in metal design, Karpa in textile design and Watts in painting.

In her artist statement, Harvell wrote “I revere the strength, beauty, and practicality of a seedpod in all its life stages… I represent these forms in copper with shell forming, a technique that enables me to mimic the sensuous forms and curving lines of seedpods.”

“This body of work depicts my process of therapy and rejuvenation found through creating art,“ Karpa said. “Displayed here are several fiber art techniques—embroidery, crochet, rusting and decaying fiber, and creating sculpture with hog gut and wire—that illustrate my recovery from abuse as well as the methods that now help me cope with residual anxiety.”

Artwork by ECU graduate student Alyssa Karpa featured at the 2016 MFA Thesis Exhibition

Artwork by ECU graduate student Alyssa Karpa featured at the 2016 MFA Thesis Exhibition

In writing about her art, Watts said “I am passionate about the topic of food because of my sociocultural identifiers. The lenses I wear… include being the oldest of three daughters, the mother of a boy, a feminist, a consumer, a producer, an artist, a student and a teacher. Through the construction of mixed media assemblages, I critique contemporary food culture in the United States.”

Artwork by ECU graduate student Amber D Watts featured at the 2016 MFA Thesis Exhibition

Gray Gallery is located off 5th and Jarvis Streets in the Jenkins Fine Arts Center at ECU. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Call 252-328-1312 for more information.

–Crystal Baity

School of Art and Design to host 2016 undergraduate exhibition

The annual East Carolina University School of Art and Design Undergraduate Exhibition will be on display in the Wellington B. Gray Gallery from March 3 to April 1.

ECU has the largest studio art program in North Carolina, which is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Faculty in the school selected artwork for the exhibit submitted by more than 500 undergraduate students. Curriculum areas to be represented are animation, art foundations, ceramics, cinema, drawing, graphic design, illustration, interactive media, metals, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, textile design and video.

A piece by John Hancock, ECU alumnus and judge for the undergraduate exhibit

“Like Descartes” by John Hancock – ECU alumnus and judge for the undergraduate exhibit

An awards ceremony will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 3 in Speight Auditorium, which will be followed by an opening reception in Gray Gallery. ECU alumnus and judge for the show John Hancock will present a judge’s talk at 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 2 in Speight Auditorium.

Hancock is a studio artist and retired art educator who earned his MFA in painting from ECU in 1989. He received a bachelor of fine arts from Valdosta State University.

Hancock previously served as art department chair at Barton College and taught at NC Wesleyan College’s Raleigh campus, Wake Technical Community College, Piedmont Virginia Community College and at the N.C. Governor’s School East. He completed a residency at the Vermont Studio Center funded by a North Carolina Arts Council grant. He remains involved in community arts organizations and occasionally teaches.

Voxis Vulpis, John Hancock.jpg

“Voxis Vulpis,” another piece by John Hancock – ECU alumnus and judge for the undergraduate exhibit

The Wellington B. Gray Gallery is located on 5th Street in the Jenkins Fine Arts Center. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. The gallery is closed for all university holidays. The Jenkins Fine Arts Center is handicapped accessible.

For more information, contact Tom Braswell, interim gallery director, at 252-328-1312 or visit www.ecu.edu/graygallery.

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