OPENING APRIL 10: Laupus Library exhibit shares stories of human emotion

Laupus Library will open the art exhibit “Eye Rain and Heart Cramps,” with a 4:30-6:30 p.m. opening reception on April 10 in the Evelyn Fike Laupus Gallery on the fourth floor of the library.

On display through June 1, the exhibit showcases a collection of paintings and mixed media artworks by April Holbrook, administrative support specialist for clinical financial services in the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.

The 2018 spring semester exhibit is part of the library’s ongoing Art as Avocation series that showcases and celebrates the artistic talents and self-expression of faculty, staff and students from the Division of Health Sciences.

“Art is my therapy,” said Holbrook. “I feel as if every soul on this earth is here to leave some mark on the world and I feel my purpose was to create things to make others feel like they are not alone.”

“April’s works are truly stunning,” said Beth Ketterman, director of Laupus Library. “I am so grateful that she’s willing to share these pieces with us for the exhibit, not only because they convey a range of emotion and experiences that are relatable, but also because she elevates the mediums in which she chooses to work. She’s got a rare talent and Laupus is proud we are able to exhibit on her behalf.”

Born in Durham as a first-generation American after her family immigrated from Germany in the early 1970s for the pursuit of higher education, Holbrook’s mother attended Duke University and later became a cardiologist, and her father worked as the bank president. While neither of her parents were fine artists and never understood what they referred to as a “waste of time,” her grandmother loved to draw and fully supported Holbrook’s dream to become an artist.

Holbrook later attended the University of the North Carolina School of the Arts and graduated from Portland State University with a bachelor of fine arts degree in social art and a minor in graphic design.

Holbrook’s paintings and mixed media artworks are created with a variety of mediums including pencil, sharpie, watercolor and acrylic.

Absorbing the tradition of remembrance art into her collection, she uses daily life as the subject matter for her pieces. Stories about life’s challenges, the innocence of childhood and the loss of that innocence with the coming of age are shared through her paintings to express the relatable experiences of everyday people.

Her hope is that visitors of the 12-piece exhibit will find a piece of themselves somewhere in this story of human emotion.

“At times in our life the spark for the things we love goes out and is rekindled by a great opportunity,” said Holbrook. “I give the deepest of thanks to Laupus Library for relighting that spark and allowing others to witness a part of me, my love for art and my world through this deeply personal collection.”

Laupus Library wishes to thank the Friends of Laupus Library for its continued support of the Art as Avocation series and opening reception.

Laupus Library is currently seeking artists for 2018-2019 exhibitions. To learn more about the series or to showcase your work, visit or contact Kelly Rogers Dilda at or 252-744-2232.