Tom Braswell, interim director of the Gray Gallery, looks over material to be included in the exhibition of work by alumni of the ECU School of Art and Design. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

More than 170 School of Art and Design alumni in exhibition

Sept. 3, 2015

By Crystal Baity
ECU News Services

Life After Art School

Five alumni from the ECU School of Art and Design will discuss “Life After Art School” at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4 at Speight Auditorium in Jenkins Fine Arts Center.

“We selected them for the diversity of their work; no two work in the same area,” said Tom Braswell, interim director of the Wellington B. Gray Gallery at ECU. “They each took slightly different paths since graduating from East Carolina.”

Panelists will be:

Matt Amante, sculpture – He teaches at Pitt Community College, serves as the president of Tri-State Sculptors and works out of his studio in Winterville. 

Mike Litwin, illustration – He is an award-winning illustrator of children’s literature who serves as the director of design for East Carolina University Creative Services.

Katherine Osgood, metal design – She is a jeweler, enamellist and metalsmith who is an associate professor at the College of the Albemarle in Manteo. 

Robert Tynes, painting– He is professor of art in painting and drawing at UNC Asheville, where he has taught for 28 years. He also serves as director of the S. Tucker Cooke Gallery.

Jessica White, printmaking – She is a printmaker and book artist in Asheville where she teaches part-time at Warren Wilson College and Western Carolina University. She is the co-founder of Ladies of Letterpress.
More than 170 alumni from East Carolina University’s School of Art and Design will showcase their work at four galleries in Greenville this month. 

The exhibition kicks off Friday, Sept. 4 with a discussion on “Life After Art School” by five ECU alumni at 3:30 p.m. in Speight Auditorium in the Jenkins Fine Arts Center.

A reception will follow from 5 until 8 p.m. at each of the four venues: ECU’s Wellington B. Gray Art Gallery and the Faulkner Gallery in Joyner Library, the Greenville Museum of Art and Emerge Gallery.

“Everything is different and unique,” said Tom Braswell, interim director of the Gray Gallery. “We have pieces at each site that are representative of the work.”

This is the first ECU alumni exhibition since 2011. Artists from 17 states are participating in studio areas such as animation and interactive design, ceramics, graphic design, illustration, metal design, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, textile design and wood design.

Charity Valentine, department chair for the fine arts and music program at Pitt Community College, created a metal pinhole camera that will be on display in the Gray Gallery.

“It doubles both as a beautiful object and as a functioning camera,” Braswell said.

“I've always loved film and when I began to learn how to work with metal it was a natural progression to use the new medium to add onto what I knew about photography,” she said.

A 2007 graduate of ECU’s master of fine art in photography, Valentine said her professors at ECU were inspirational photographers and role models.

“ECU was an excellent place to learn about photography and the program has continued to improve since I graduated,” Valentine said. “I was fortunate to find myself in a program with people who treated me like I was family.”

Valentine started at PCC as an adjunct photography instructor and has helped build its fine arts program from the beginning. She has remained close to ECU’s School of Art and Design professionally and geographically.

“It's been one of the greatest successes of my career, to have my own students graduate from PCC and continue on to study photography at ECU,” Valentine said.

Alumni artwork will be exhibited through Sept. 25. See below for more information on the sites and hours of operation: 

The Wellington B. Gray Gallery is located in the Jenkins Fine Arts Center off Fifth and Jarvis Streets on the campus of ECU. The gallery is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturdays. The gallery is closed Labor Day. Call 252-328-1312 or visit for more information.

The Greenville Museum of Art is located at 802 South Evans Street in Greenville. The Museum is open 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 1-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Call 252-758-1946 or go to for more information.
A metal pinhole camera created by alumna Charity Valentine is among the items to be displayed at ECU's Gray Gallery.

Emerge Gallery is located at 404 South Evans Street in Greenville. The gallery is open 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call 252-551-6947 or visit

The Faulkner Gallery is located on the second floor of Joyner Library at ECU. It is open 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Sundays. Call 252-328-5432 or email for more information.