EAST CAROLINA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF ART AND DESIGN 2016 UNDERGRADUATE EXHIBITION
Judges’s Talk, Wednesday, March 2, 5:00 p.m. in Speight Auditorium
The annual East Carolina University School of Art and Design Undergraduate Exhibition will be on view in the Wellington B. Gray Gallery from March 3 to April 1, 2016. Area curriculum coordinators in the School of Art and Design select the outstanding works submitted from over 500 undergraduate students. The Judge’s Talk by ECU alumnus John Hancock , studio artist and art educator in Virginia, will take place Wednesday, March 2 at 5:00 p.m. in Speight Auditorium in the Jenkins Fine Arts building. The Awards Ceremony will take place Thursday, March 3 at 5:00 p.m. in Speight Auditorium. The opening reception will follow immediately in the gallery.
John A. Hancock was born in Atlanta, Georgia in the winter of 1956. He began to taking art seriously, studying painting and dynamic symmetry at the Wichita Art Center with Betty Dickerson (Wichita, Kansas), while he was still in high school. Despite loving and wanting to study everything, from archeology to marine biology, he eventually majored in Art and received his BFA from Valdosta State (College) University (Valdosta, Georgia) in 1978. His primary teachers at VSC, Joseph Pember and Russell McRae, had nurtured his innate affinity with America’s tendency towards realism while challenging him to explore the rich modernist traditions.
After college, John moved to eastern North Carolina. In 1979, he took a position with the Arts Council of Wilson as a Community Artist-In-Residence. By the early 80’s, John’s work, influenced in part by his new enthusiasm for jazz and modern classical music, early modernist art, and a private meditation practice, grew more rooted in a search for the essential. This played out in John’s drawing and painting as a quest to meld the rich intensity he saw in the works of Edward Hopper with the simplification and clarity of Charles Demuth. John’s was trying achieving a sense of lush sensual images while hewing as close to a personal form of minimalism as possible.
In 1981, John moved to Greenville, NC to work and to take classes in the School of Art at East Carolina University. The majority of his studio work was under the direction of Ray Elmore, Clarence Morgan, and Paul Hartley. He eventually received his MFA in painting in 1989.
In the fall of 1988, just before he finished his MFA thesis, John accepted a full-time position teaching in the art department of Barton (then called Atlantic Christian) College in Wilson NC, where he became the Art Department chair in 1992,
In 1997, John served as a guest curator at the Arts Council of Wilson, organizing the “Watermarks: Contemporary Watercolor.” Also in 1997, after twelve years with Barton College, John began to teach at NC Wesleyan College’s Raleigh campus and then for two years at Wake Technical Community College. During this period, he also began his affiliation with the Governor’s schools of North Carolina where he taught at NC Governor’s School East for eight years.
John was awarded two grants from the North Carolina Arts Council. The second one was for a residency at the Vermont Studio Center in the summer of 2000. Later that same summer, John moved to Charlottesville, Virginia where he had accepted a position as Associate Professor of Art in the art department of Piedmont Virginia Community College. In 2009, John retired from full-time teaching. He moved just over the mountain to live in the Shenandoah Valley with his new wife. He completed organizing his first ever full time studio that same year. John continues to be involved in community arts organizations and occasionally even teaches a class (but now only as an adjunct) for one or more of the seven colleges and universities in his area.
East Carolina University features the largest studio art program in North Carolina, which is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Curriculum areas represented in the show are: animation, art foundations, ceramics, cinema, drawing, graphic design, illustration, interactive media, metals, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, textile design, and video.
The Wellington B. Gray Gallery is located off of Fifth and Jarvis Streets on the campus of East Carolina University in the Jenkins Fine Arts Center. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m.to 2:00 p.m. The gallery is closed for all university holidays. The Jenkins Fine Arts Center is handicapped accessible.
For more information, please contact Tom Braswell, Interim Gallery Director, at (252) 328-1312. www.ecu.edu/graygallery