ECU alumnus, artist opens exhibit in eastern North Carolina

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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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Work by ECU art professor named to top 100

Work by ECU art professor Scott Eagle will appear in the Creative Quarterly. (Contributed photo)

Work by ECU art professor Scott Eagle will appear in the Creative Quarterly. (Contributed photo)

Scott Eagle, assistant director and director of graduate studies in the School of Art and Design, has been selected by Creative Quarterly (http://cqjournal.com/annual) as one of their top 100 creatives for 2013. A panel of international judges picked the top 25 pieces for special recognition in each of four categories – fine art, graphic design, illustration and photography. Eagle’s work will appear in the Creative Quarterly Magazine being distributed this fall.

Since early 2000, Eagle has collaborated with author Jeff VanderMeer, a winner of the British Science Fiction Association Award, 2 World Fantasy Awards, finalist for the Hugo Award and author of more than 20 books including “The Steampunk Bible: An Illustrated Guide to the World of Imaginary Airships, Corsets and Goggles, Mad Scientists, and Strange Literature ” and “The Southern Reach Trilogy.”

Last October, VanderMeer published “Wonderbook; The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction” (http://www.amazon.com/Wonderbook-Illustrated-Creating-Imaginative-Fiction/dp/1419704427) in which Eagle had four artworks used as illustration on seven pages, an interview and a full page photograph that he took of his studio shelves. This guide to writing imaginative fiction takes a completely novel approach and fully exploits the visual nature of fantasy through original drawings, maps, renderings and exercises to create a spectacularly beautiful and inspiring object. Employing an accessible, example-rich approach, “Wonderbook” (http://wonderbooknow.com/) energizes and motivates while also providing practical information needed to improve as a writer. In June, Wonderbook won the Locus Award for best nonfiction and has been nominated for the Hugo Awards.

Additional artwork by Eagle also can be seen locally in a new exhibit at the Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge in the Edwards & Wooten Gallery from Sept. 5 through Sept. 26. Eagle and artist Tim French, a 2011 ECU MFA alumnus, are featured in the “Psychodrama” exhibition. An opening reception will be held Sept. 5 during the First Friday Artwalk in uptown Greenville. French teaches art at Pitt Community College.

 

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ECU graduate students fire kiln at North Carolina Pottery Center

Randolph County potter Joseph Sands, at left, hosted ECU graduate students Devin McKim and Erin Younge during their summer internship.

Randolph County potter Joseph Sands, at left, hosted ECU graduate students Devin McKim and Erin Younge during their summer internship.

As part of a summer internship finale, two East Carolina University graduate students will fire a groundhog kiln on the lawn of the North Carolina Pottery Center today.

Erin Younge, a third-year graduate student in ECU’s ceramics program, has been teaching clay programs for all ages. Devin McKim, a second-year graduate student, has been working with local Randleman potter Joseph Sands to learn production ceramic techniques. The student internships are part of an ongoing collaboration between ECU and the pottery center.

The firing of the groundhog kiln takes approximately 15 hours and uses two cords of wood.  “Firing a groundhog kiln is a great introduction to Seagrove pottery,” McKim said. “I am excited to be joining in on that traditional style of salt firing.”

Also on Aug. 2, there will be a Raku firing demonstration. Younge and McKim will explain the firing process and answer questions from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. today and Saturday.

The Raku firing will be divided into smaller batches to fire, remove and fume – and then repeat with each batch – to give visitors a chance to see finished pieces more quickly than most types of firings.

“I am amazed by the range of color that Raku firings produce,” said Younge. “The transformation that takes place in both the clay and the glaze by using simple combustible materials like sawdust or flowers is always a treat.”

The mission of the North Carolina Pottery Center is to promote public awareness of and appreciation for the history, heritage and ongoing tradition of pottery making in North Carolina.

The center is located at 233 East Avenue in Seagrove. It’s open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. For more information, call 336-873-8430 or go to www.ncpotterycenter.org.

 

 

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ECU sculpture professor exhibits work in Australia

By Jamitress Bowden
ECU News Services

Residents ‘Down Under’ got a glimpse of artwork from eastern North Carolina, thanks to the efforts of an East Carolina University sculptor.

Red Center (Contributed photo)

ECU professor Carl Billingsley’s work, Red Center, on display in Australia. (Contributed photo)

Carl Billingsley, professor of sculpture in East Carolina University’s School of Art and Design, had his work featured in Australia twice this school year.

Originally, Billingsley’s proposal for an art installation titled “Red Center” was originally chosen for “Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi” last fall. His participation in the show last fall lead to an invitation to another outdoor show, in a different city.

He was offered an opportunity through the Andrea Stetton Memorial Invitation to have his piece included at Cottesloe Beach in Australia in March. The installation took Billingsley one day to install at Cottesloe Beach, with help from 12 volunteers.

“I like to have my pieces in public rather than in a museum. I think more people have an opportunity to see the work,” said Billingsley. “It’s kind of a big event where people are very aware of it and look forward to it and they go out for it.”

“Red Center” is an installation of red and yellow construction flags. He chose Australia as inspiration for the installation, and a well-known Australian landmark as inspiration for the name. “At the very center of the continent, is this vast stone, which the aborigines call Uluru and colonists call Ayers Rock or Red Stone,” said Billingsley.

A close-up look at the Red Center artwork.

A close-up look at the Red Center artwork.

Billingsley decided to enter an installation instead of the traditional form of sculpture. “This is a relatively new endeavor for me, as a professor of sculpture. I’ve always focused a lot of my attention on very traditional materials.”

Both shows have had more than 500,000 people in attendance.

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Folger Shakespeare Library exhibit features ECU connections

Irish mantle 1, resized

A replica of an Irish mantle, or cloak, created by East Carolina University School of Art and Design students in Robin Haller’s textile and design course is part of the exhibit at the Folger Shakespeare Library. Photo courtesy of the Folger Shakespeare Library.

By Alexa DeCarr, ECU News Services

An exhibit on display at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is showcasing the achievements of Dr. Thomas Herron, an associate professor of English at East Carolina University, students in ECU’s School of Art and Design and the University Multimedia Center.

The exhibit, which opened in January and runs through May 19, is named “Nobility and Newcomers in Renaissance Ireland” and focuses on the Irish upper class during the 16th to mid-17th century and its cultural exchanges with England. It investigates the political struggles of the period while acknowledging the ways in which English and Irish cultures influenced each other through achievements in literature, architecture and the arts.

“It goes beyond the black and white view of the interactions between the English and the Irish,” Herron said of the exhibit.

Students in ECU assistant professor Robin Haller’s textile and design course recreated a replica of an Irish mantle, which Herron said is a type of outer covering or cloak worn by the Irish. The University Multimedia Center also contributed to the exhibit by creating a 3-D computerized recreation of a tower house castle from the Middle Ages that allows viewers to get a virtual tour.

Herron said that a 16th century portrait of Queen Elizabeth I “discovered” in Manteo while hanging in plain sight during a conference organized by the ECU English Department is on display at the exhibit as well.

“ECU has been so generous and has played a major role in the exhibit,” Herron said. “Different departments within the university have gone out of their way to help with the exhibit.”

While the exhibit focuses on Europe during the Renaissance, Herron said modern Americans can still appreciate it.

“Shakespeare is a powerful influence on the U.S. and our culture,” he said. “And many Americans have Irish roots.”

The exhibit, “Nobility and Newcomers in Renaissance Ireland,” features portraits, manuscripts, artifacts, family records, and rare books drawn from collections in Ireland and the United States. The exhibition includes nearly 100 items from the Folger collection, as well as materials from the National Gallery of Ireland, the University of Wisconsin, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Library of Ireland, and private collections.

Brendan Kane, a historian of modern Ireland and an associate professor at the University of Connecticut, was the co-curator of the exhibit.

For more information on the exhibit, visit www.folger.edu/Ireland or contact Tom Herron at herront@ecu.edu.

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