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Your membership supports scholarships, programs and projects that benefit the students and faculty. In addition you will receive invitations to special events. Membership levels include:
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Contact Nancy Ball, Major Gifts Officer for the College of Fine Arts and Communication, at email@example.com or 252-737-1505. or Susan Nicholls Nichollss@ecu.edu or 252-328-6336
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Jessica Christie's: Landscapes of Origin in the Americas
Art historian Jessica Christie’s latest book, Landscapes of Origin in the Americas: Creation narratives linking ancient places and present communities, was recently distributed by the University of Alabama Press. From the dust jacket: “Landscape is a powerful factor in the operation of memory because of the association narrators make between the local landscape and the events of the stories they tell. Ancestors and mythological events often become fixed in a specific landscape and act as timeless reference points. In conventional anthropological literature, “landscape” is the term applied to the meaning local people bestow on their cultural and physical surroundings. In this work, the authors explore the cultural and physical landscapes an individual or cultural group has constructed to define the origins or beginnings of that cultural group as revealed through shared or traditional memory. The cultural landscapes of origins in diverse sites throughout the Americas are investigated through multidisciplinary research, not only to reveal the belief system and mythologies but also to place these origin beliefs in context and relationship to each other. In a continual interaction between the past, present, and future, time is subordinate to place, and history, as defined in Western academic terms, does not exist.”
Art Educator Alice Arnoldco-edited Globalization, Art, and Education
Art educator Alice Arnold co-edited Globalization, Art, and Education, a collection of essays about the phenomenon’s impact on creativity, as well as the possibilities—and pitfalls—that globalization can create for visual arts education. The collection of essays was made available in January by the National Art Education Association, where Arnold has served in several leadership roles, including president of one of NAEA’s interest groups, the United States Society for Education through Art. The book’s genesis came about during a chance conversation at an NAEA conference four years ago, when Arnold was talking with a colleague about a course the professor was teaching titled, “Globalization, Art and Education.” —Karen Shugart
Craig Malmrose puts the finishing touches on a new wooden typeface. Designed by Gunnar Swanson, “Rosemary” (named after Nixon’s secretary) is one of the first wooden types created in the last 40 years. The art professors offered a juried presentation, “The New Life of Wood Type,” at the Society of Typographic Aficionados and presented related findings and creative activity at the TypeCon conference.
Voors Serves National Park Service
Last summer, Michael Voors held an Artist-in-Residency post at Mesa Verde, the first national park of its kind in the United States.
As one of four artists selected in a national search, he received intense back country training and was given free access to the UNESCO World Heritage site for a two-week period.
“It takes a few days to adjust to the site,” Voors said. “There’s a ‘getting acquainted’ phase,” Voors explains, in which he used notebooks to capture drawings that connected him with the space. “Drawing is an important tool for investigation and the most direct way to respond. Once you find a motif, it’s then possible to focus in a more sustained effort on larger sheets of paper. Media is kept very simple–mostly watercolor, graphite and pastel.”
Voors kept his documentation materials to a minimum, as he reached most of the sites via narrow trails cutting down steep canyon walls.
“My hope is to go beyond the documentation of place. I am interested in visual phenomena which moves toward larger meanings and associations–a kind of poetry of information.”
Drawings, coupled with a plethora of photographs, formed the basis of Voors’ research and fieldwork, from which richer pieces could be drawn at a later time. “Back in the studio environment I can increase scale, adjust shapes, and alter surfaces allowing both memory and imagination to come into greater play.”
Mesa Verde National Park includes 4,300 archeological sites and 600 cliff dwellings, the most famous of which is Cliff Palace. Ancestral puebloans have been in the area for 10,000 years, but began an exodus around 1,300 A.D., probably as a result of gradual drought and crop failure.
The site was rediscovered in 1765 by Don Juan Maria de Rivera, exploring under orders from the New Mexico governor. In subsequent years, the effects of tourism and artifact removal prompted an 1886 editorial in the Denver Tribune Republican to call for federal or state protection against “vandals of modern civilization.”
“The park has a dramatic level of natural beauty—at over a 7,000 foot elevation the mesas and cliffs are a complex environment,” Voors says, “but the uniqueness is the cultural heritage.”
Voors says that theft of archaeological artifacts remains a contemporary issue. “I didn’t want to leave an imprint or damage any of the site by accident. I was very conscious of the fact that these sites were the ritual centers of Native Americans and needed to be approached with a great deal of respect. When I’d see pottery sherds or artifacts lying on the ground, you leave them there out of respect—and the law.”
“It’s important for students to realize that as teachers, we’re also visual artists working in the field or studio,” Voors says. He has worked at excavation sites in Pompeii, Jerusalem, the caves of Qumran in Israel and at a site in Cologne, Germany. He’s also been inspired by travels to the Roman ruins, Neolithic monuments in Wales, Ireland, Great Britain and Carnac in Northwest France.
“I see the work as a tool for participating in a larger mystery,” he says. “I’ve always had an interest in sites that have a sacred or historical character. I hope I can set a good example when students are trying to find direction. I can share what my experience has been and how one tries to take one’s experience and give it new life in the form of drawing and painting.”
As a requirement of the residency, Voors offered a public lecture, “Ancient and Sacred Places: A Personal Journey.” The talk included slides of Neolithic Ireland and Wales, as well as ancient Rome. Within the year, Voors will gift a work of art to the permanent collection of the national park, adding his interpretation of the site to the legacy of artists that served before him.
“To me the most transcendent moments are when everyone has left the park and the light is fading and you’re in that silence,” Voors says. “That’s the magical hour.”
Paul J. Hartley Jr. passed on Thanksgiving Day after a 14-month fight against cancer.
Hartley (MFA ’70) served on the painting faculty from 1970-2009, including many years as the painting and drawing area coordinator.
“There is no art instructor in this state who taught more students than Paul Hartley,” said Lee Hansley, a Raleigh art dealer who represented Hartley for the past 17 years. “He has influenced more young artists than anyone in North Carolina’s university system. That will be his legacy, along with a remarkable body of work in collections far and wide.”
The Lee Hansley Gallery in Raleigh exhibited a retrospective of Hartley’s work this year.
“He had an amazing ability to simply show up at the right time whenever you needed help with anything, and he knew what you needed,” said Scott Eagle, a former student now serving as Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Art and Design. “He listened more than any other professor I knew. As a professor, that is what I try to emulate.”
Hartley’s art championed mixed-media work that combined oil, acrylic, collage and imagery. In many paintings, exquisitely-crafted pedestrian objects appear to float against the background of the canvas.
The Greenville Museum of Art hosted “Paul Hartley: The Man and His Legacy” in April. The exhibition featured a number of Hartley’s paintings and nearly 200 pieces of work by former students.
The North Carolina Museum of Art recently added “Times of Red and Blue, 2008” to their permanent collection. The work–a gift of Mrs. Sellers Crisp, Mrs. James Ficklen and Mr. and Mrs. D. Jordan Whichard III–is acrylic and oil on canvas measuring 45 x 33 inches.
Hartley has works in the collections of the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, the Greenville Museum of Art, the Cameron Museum of Art in Wilmington, the Barton College Museum in Wilson and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem. A suite of eight major Hartley paintings is permanently displayed at the Sheraton Hotel in Chapel Hill.
Hartley’s family requests that memorial contributions be made to East Carolina University’s School of Art and Design.
His work, “My Room is Turning (2)” appears above.
Please note: A number of scholarships celebrating the lives of arts and communication professors exist in the College of Fine Arts and Communication, including a partially-funded endowment scholarship honoring the memory of Paul Hartley. Learn more about supporting students in the memory of an honored professor by calling Mary Jane Gaddis at 252-328-1268. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Ms. Gaddis can also assist you in making a bequest of a portion of your estate. —Ed.
Society of Illustrators Student Competition
Amanda James’ work was accepted in the Society of Illustrators Student Competition. “I believe our best students’ work is nationally competitive,” says illustration professor Joan Mansfield, who submitted the work. “This validates it for me.” James, a senior from Tarboro, created “Fortune” as the final project in her Media and Techniques class in 2009. “The image is based on a fortune cookie fortune drawn at random from a hat. The one I got read ‘A quiet evening with friends is the best tonic for a long day,’” she explains. The friends depicted are her pets. The work is on exhibition in New York.
Ken Wyatt's Pray for Eric
Ken Wyatt’s 28-minute documentary “Pray for Eric” won Best Coming of Age Film at the Mountain Film Festival. The film is about Wyatt’s relocation to eastern North Carolina and his journey to meet his rural mountain western North Carolina neighbors, who allegedly supported abortion clinic, gay night club, and Atlanta Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph during his five-year evasion from U.S. government authorities despite a $1 million reward. The work was also an official selection of the San Diego Black Film Festival, Bare Bones Film Festival, Black International Cinema Berlin Film Festival and the upcoming 2010 DocMiami International Film Festival. Wyatt was awarded the Southern Documentary Fund’s fiscal sponsorship for the work, supporting post-production and distribution expenses.