Work by ECU grads featured at N.C. Museum of Art

 

The N.C. Museum of Art is hosting a video installation of three works by New York artist Jason Mitcham, including the “Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise” piece produced with Scott Avett of the Avett Brothers band. The installation will be in the museum’s East Building from Jan. 9 through April 12.

Both Mitcham and Avett are East Carolina University graduates.

“Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise” is a four-minute, 20-second-long video Mitcham created from 2,600 versions of a single painting. It is set to the song of the same name written by Avett for the band’s 2009 hit album, “I and Love and You”. National Public Radio reviewer Robin Hilton described the video as “a spare but stunning work of art (that) shows the rise, fall and inevitable decay of rampant urban development.”

“These animations began from a need to incorporate time into a painting involving a specific site,” Mitcham said. By altering his paintings mark by mark, Mitcham is able to add both a sensation of time and the fluidity of movement to an otherwise static art form. To produce each second of running time in the video required him to create 10 alterations to the painting, Mitcham said.

Mitcham is a 2002 ECU bachelor of fine arts graduate from Greensboro who completed a master of fine arts at the University of Florida in 2005. Now based in Queens, New York, he has exhibited extensively in the New York area, Los Angeles and England.

Scott Avett is a 1999 ECU graduate. The Avett Brothers band had its start in Greenville while Scott Avett was an ECU student and brother Seth was attending UNC Charlotte.

Also featured at the Museum of Art’s installation will be two other videos by Mitcham ­– “Ruin Rising,” a video without sound he created in 2013, and “Three,” a 2011 piece featuring music by Meredith Varn. Those two videos also are created from thousands of variations to a single painting.

The museum on Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh is open six days a week and closed on Mondays. The exhibition is free.

Steve Tuttle

Visit Mitcham’s web site at http://jasonmitcham.com/JasonMitcham/Home.html.

Information on the Avett Brothers is available at http://www.theavettbrothers.com/.

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ECU Retired faculty forums begin in January

Retired faculty of East Carolina University are invited to a series of free informational forums in the spring of 2015, hosted by the Retired Faculty Association and sponsored by the East Carolina Alumni Association. These forums are designed to keep retired faculty connected to each other, their fields of study, their university and their community. Membership in the RFA is not required, but those interested in joining are encouraged to inquire. Current faculty and other members of the East Carolina community are welcome.

Events are scheduled as follows:

Tuesday, January 13
“Sylvan Heights Bird Sanctuary”
Mike and Brent Lubbock

Tuesday, February 10
“Inside the Exxon Valdez Accident”
Archie Smith

Tuesday, March 10
“Zero to Eighty on Unpaved Roads”
Evelyn McNeil

Tuesday, April 14
“Seeing Through the Camera”
Dwayne Frutiger

Tuesday, May 12
“Did Lincoln Own Slaves? And other FAQs about Abraham Lincoln”
Gerald Prokopowicz

All forums will be held 3 – 4:30 p.m. in the second floor conference room of the Family Medicine Center at 101 Heart Drive in Greenville. Ample parking is available after 2 p.m. directly outside of the building in the B and A7 lots. For questions, contact Christy Angle at 252-328-1958.

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Nominations sought for Wright Award

ECU faculty and staff are invited to nominate an outstanding undergraduate senior or recent graduate for a 2015 Robert H. Wright Alumni Leadership Award, to be presented at spring commencement in May 2015.

Those who have graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the summer or fall of 2014 will also be considered. All nominations are due by Jan. 30, 2015. Only current ECU faculty and staff may nominate a student.

The Robert H. Wright Alumni Leadership Award is the most prestigious award presented by the East Carolina Alumni Association to seniors during annual spring commencement exercises. The award recognizes academic achievement, service (both to the university and the community), and leadership qualities (both potential and exhibited). Nominees should be recognized as those who will make an impact in their professions and communities.

For more information, visit www.piratealumni.com/wrightaward.

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Alumni Association seeks board members

The Alumni Association Board of Directors is seeking volunteer board members from among all ECU alumni for a three-year term to begin July 1, 2015.

Board members are expected to maintain active membership in the association and attend four meetings per year.

Members advise alumni association staff, serve on committees and help select scholarship and award recipients. Members encourage alumni involvement and share their professional expertise and talents to advance the university. The ultimate role of the board is to guide staff and volunteers in carrying out the mission of the alumni association and university.

Current first-term board member Tim Willis ’12 was motivated to serve on the board by his passion for ECU and desire to stay involved. “ECU is a rapidly growing institution and I want to help bring new ideas and traditions to help benefit future Pirates to come,” he said.

Willis’ favorite part of serving on the board is working with a team of like-minded people to continue to benefit ECU.

“I most definitely recommend anyone willing to become actively engaged with the alumni association to apply to serve on the board,” Willis said.

He asked that anyone interested should reach out to him or other board members to learn about the impact they can make in the role. “The alumni board is a huge outlet to connect with other Pirates as well as give back to East Carolina,” he said.

Applications will be accepted through Dec. 31 at http://www.piratealumni.com/s/722/rdsite/index.aspx?sid=722&gid=1&pgid=1775.

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ECU alumna, former soccer star new face of American Athletic Conference

Oughton

                                                       Hali Oughton

By Steve Tuttle
ECU News Services

Former East Carolina University soccer star Hali Oughton was interviewed by the media many times during her college career. Now she’s the one holding the microphone in her job as an on-air reporter for the American Athletic Conference.

Oughton, who graduated in May 2013 with a degree in communication, was back on campus Oct. 5 for the ECU-SMU football game to film segments for the American conference’s weekly web video show, “The Rise.” It was ECU’s first official game as a new member of the conference. Her report for that game can be seen here.

“Being in front of the camera is a fun aspect of the job because I get to tell the stories of our conference and really engage with the fans,” Oughton said.

Based at the American’s headquarters in Providence, Rhode Island, Oughton travels frequently to film episodes of her show on the campuses of the 11 conference members.

“It’s funny how things work out,” she said. “Being a student-athlete at East Carolina makes this opportunity with the American really special to me. I get to work with my alma mater on a day-to-day basis as well as schools I have previously competed against on the soccer field when we were in Conference USA.”

Oughton, a native of Redondo Beach, California, was a four-year starter on ECU’s soccer team and a team captain. She was named a first-team All-Conference USA player her senior year.

A key member of the soccer team’s defense throughout her college career, she was known for her stamina. She started 60 consecutive games and played every minute in 18 of the 20 matches her senior year.

She played in all 10 of the team’s shutouts her senior year and scored three goals, two of which were game winners.

“My degree from ECU has definitely helped me get to where I am today,” she said. “I built great relationships with many of my colleagues and professors. Interning at WNCT-TV under Brian Bailey gave me a great deal of experience in my last two years of college.”

A new episode of “The Rise” airs each Tuesday at the American website.

You can follow her on Twitter at @Halioughton.

 

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ECU shines at NOAA Science Days

Alumnus Chris Ellis was among three presenters from ECU at the NOAA Science Days event Sept. 23 in Maryland. (Contributed photo)

Alumnus Chris Ellis was among three presenters from ECU at the NOAA Science Days event Sept. 23 in Maryland. (Contributed photo)

East Carolina University was well represented this year at NOAA Science Days Sept. 23 in Silver Spring, Maryland. The annual event highlights research done in collaboration with NOAA offices, with this year’s theme focused on social science research.

ECU professor Burrell Montz, chair of the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment, presented “Social and Behavioral Influences on Weather-Driven Decisions.” She was also co-PI on work presented by Rachel Hogan Carr, executive director of the Nurture Nature Center. Carr presented “Flood Risk and Uncertainty: Assessing the National Weather Service’s Forecast and Warning Tools.”

ECU graduate Chris Ellis, a social scientist with the National Ocean Service Coastal Service Center, presented “Social Science Research to Improve Hurricane Communications: An Assessment of the NWS Hurricane Local Statement.” Ellis received his doctorate in coastal resources management under the direction of Dr. Hans Vogelsong.

Also presenting was ECU alumna Maria Dillard, social scientist with the National Ocean Service/National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and Hollings Marine Laboratory. Dillard received a master’s in sociology from ECU under the direction of advisor Dr. Bob Edwards. She presented “A Different Kind of Coastal Intelligence: Building Resilience though Assessment of Well-Being and Ecosystem Condition in Coastal Communities.”

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Book signings feature contributions by ECU student, alumna


Artist, ECU alumna illustrates children’s book   

possiblepoliceHannah K. Shuping, a 2013 East Carolina University graduate and Raleigh resident, recently illustrated the children’s picture book, “The Possible Police,” written by Wylde Scott.

The story teaches children that naysayers and doubters in the world can’t stop them from imagining and achieving their dreams.

“History is filled with plenty of people who didn’t give up in the face of rejection or lack of encouragement and succeeded in living out their wildest dreams,” Scott said. “To overcome all of ‘The Possible Police’ they will encounter, we must encourage and support our children to develop, explore and enrich their imagination.”

Shuping knows the challenges of overcoming obstacles. She was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome while at ECU, where she received a BFA with a concentration in illustration. “Both her graduation from ECU and illustrating this book at such an early age are both tremendous acts of accomplishment,” Scott said. “She is an inspiration to me and can be for so many others.”

Scott will appear in costume and read from his book at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, at Barnes & Noble in the University Commons in Greenville.

ECU student shares story in “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot Your Life”

chickensoupTyler Stocks, a history and English major at East Carolina University, has published a short story in a new book “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot Your Life.”

The book, the latest in the well-known series, features 101 stories aimed at inspiring others to solve problems, take chances, follow dreams or start over.

Stock’s story “I Think I Can” describes his journey to becoming a writer. A Greenville resident, Stocks is a freelance journalist whose work has been published in several newspapers and magazines. The submission process for the book took four to six months. Entries, which were received from all over the world, had to be true and nonfiction, he said.

Stocks will hold at a book signing 2-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25 at Barnes & Noble in the University Commons in Greenville.

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National champion swimmers return to campus

Left to right Jeff Faucette, Jack McCann and Jake Smith as they appeared in a Sept. 2014 visit to campus, above, and on the ECU swim team in the late 1950s.

Left to right Jeff Faucette, Jack McCann and Jake Smith as they appeared in a Sept. 2014 visit to campus, upper image, and on the ECU swim team in the late 1950s, below.

Three members of East Carolina’s 1959 NAIA national championship swim team returned to campus the weekend of Sept. 20 to attend a reunion of the Sigma Nu fraternity.

Jeff Faucette, Jack McCann and Jake Smith were among 10 swimmers on the 1957 and 1959 teams selected as All-Americans. McCann and Smith each won six events at national competitions. McCann swam the breaststroke and is credited with inventing what’s called the whip kick that now is widely used in competitive swimming.

East Carolina’s swim team also won the 1957 NAIA national championships.

Several members of both national championship swim teams were Sigma Nu brothers. Sigma Nu was among the first social fraternities on campus. The fraternity closed several years ago but is slated to officially return to campus in 2016.

Faucette now lives in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Smith lives in Hickory and McCann lives in Morehead City.

— Steve Tuttle

The national champion East Carolina swim team.

The national champion East Carolina swim team.

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ECU alumnus, artist opens exhibit in eastern North Carolina

art2

Samples of ECU alumnus Jason Bryant’s art is shown above and in the image below. Bryant’s work will be on display in an eastern North Carolina exhibit. (Contributed images)

East Carolina University alumnus and New York artist Jason Bryant will bring his work home in a new exhibit opening Oct. 14 at the Rocky Mount Arts Center.

“Coming Home” is a retrospective of Bryant’s paintings about obstacles, dedication and passion. It will be on display until Jan. 4.

art1In 1999, a few months before Bryant’s graduation from ECU, the Wilson native was invited to show his work at the arts center in Rocky Mount. Following Bryant’s successful exhibit, Hurricane Floyd struck the eastern part of the state, causing widespread flooding in an area already saturated from an earlier storm, Hurricane Dennis.

The area’s river basins exceeded 500-year flood levels, causing more than $4 billion in damages and 50 deaths.

Bryant’s entire exhibition from his solo debut was destroyed by the flooding except for one painting that had been acquired by the arts center.

“Coming Home” is not just a symbolic return of an artist to his home state, but a return to the roots of Bryant’s passion, drive and dedication to an art form. Curated by Alicyn Wiedrich, the exhibition will include 16 of Bryant’s paintings focusing on the years from 2009 until 2014.

Heavily influenced by classic film, Bryant – a skateboarder – also incorporates signature skateboard graphics or paints in his works.

Bryant lives and works in New York City. He received a BFA from ECU and earned an MFA in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Bryant’s paintings have been exhibited across the United States, Europe and Australia. His work has been featured in Juxtapoz Magazine, Thrasher, NY Arts Magazine, American Artist, Ocean Home Magazine and Time Out New York.

The Rocky Mount Arts Center, 270 Gay St., Rocky Mount, is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturdays and 1-5 p.m. Sundays. An opening reception with the artist will be held 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18.

 

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