Founded in 1977, the Wellington B. Gray Art Gallery is an integral part of the School of Art and Design’s educational mission. The Gray Gallery provides educational programming for students and the community through six to eight exhibitions each year and numerous symposia and lectures by visiting artists and curators. The collections that the Gallery and School of Art and Design maintain includes a significant collection of western and central African art, Baltic ceramics, the Dwight M. Holland collection, a major and on-going donation of contemporary ceramics and a suite of Larry Rivers prints.
2014 MFA Thesis Exhibition (April 21 - May 16, 2014
Reception: Friday, April 25, 5-8 PM
The Wellington B. Gray Gallery is proud to present the work of six artists graduating from the Master of Fine Arts program in the School of Art and Design at East Carolina University. The exhibiting artists are Lori Ary, Patrick Hutti, Aisling Millar, Cathy Perry, Steven Russell, and Sydney Sogol.
The exhibition includes a wide range of materials and aesthetics with artists representing four studio areas in the School of Art and Design: Lori Ary and Sydney Sogol in Textile Design, Patrick Hutti in Ceramics, Aisling Millar and Cathy Perry in Sculpture, and Steven Russell in Metal Design.
Lori Ary is a multi-media artist from Huntsville, Alabama. She graduated from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2011 with a Bachelors Degree in Foreign Languages with a Spanish concentration, a Bachelors Degree in Studio Art with a concentration in Printmaking, and a minor in Art History. She is currently a candidate for an MFA in Textile Design at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.
Ary's installations examines the links between childhood memories, the joy of opportunity, the fear of decision-making, and the struggle for identity. The concept is represented by two opposing installations that focus on the contrast between indulgence and restraint. One represents nostalgia for opportunity and freedom while the other represents the suffocation of fear and indecision. The installations are composed of fabric, paper, wire, Perler beads, and natural materials which were altered through dying, printing, and stitching. These installations extend into the space the viewer occupies, encouraging the viewer to interact with the work. The childhood stories that inspired this work are included as part of the exhibition.
Patrick Hutti was born and raised in a small town near the middle of Illinois.His career in ceramics started at the age of fifteen. In his late teens Patrick started working as an apprentice for three years.Shortly after, he left the apprenticeship to pursue a Bachelor's Degree in Art at Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville. Patrick subsequently moved to North Carolina where he started an art therapy business with his partner. Currently, Patrick is completing his MFA in ceramics at East Carolina University. About his work, Patrick says that, "Every Day is a story of two brothers and the parallel inspiration created."
Aisling Millar emigrated from Dublin, Ireland to Vero Beach FL, at the age of 13 with her parents and siblings. She earned a Bachelors of Arts in Education (B.A.E.) from the University of North Florida (UNF) in 2005 and a Bachelors of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Ceramics and Sculpture from UNF in 2011.Aisling has taught for several community programs such as Art with a Heart in Healthcare at Wolfon's Children's Hospital, The Ponte Vedra Cultural Center, Young Rembrandts, Duval County Public schools at Lake Forest Elementary School of the Visual and Performing Arts, and was the Lead Museum Educator for the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville (MOCAJ). For the past two years she has been teaching in the Foundations program and in Sculpture Survey at East Carolina University.
Aisling has been exhibiting her work in regional and national shows.Recently she earned a commission from the City of Greenville, NC.After graduation with an M.F.A. in Sculpture, Aisling will pursue opportunities to teach in higher education while continuing to exhibit her work.
Aisling Millar's sculptures are inspired by iconic images found throughout Ireland, such as Newgrange, the Book of Kells, the architecture of Christian churches, and the political art of Northern Ireland. These iconographic images are referenced in an effort to explore her reaction to growing up in the Irish culture, emigrating and adopting the culture of the United States, and the hybrid culture that is created by the two intersecting.Together, these works display her understanding of self, biculturalism, and belonging. Millar utilizes similar quality of line and style of traditional interlace Knotwork, but through steel fabrication, allowing her to echo the contemplative and spiritual feelings of the stone monuments while opening up the form, exposing its interior, and creating an uplifting, gravity defying visual element. She chooses to create outdoor sculpture so that her work may become part of a community environment and be experienced by all. Millar states, "I hope to engage both communities of my upbringing and bring them together though my work."
Cathy Perry is finishing her Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from East Carolina University in May 2014. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture and a Bachelor of Arts in Weaving from Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Kentucky. She received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Lindsey Wilson College, Scottsville, Kentucky. Her work consists of bronze and aluminum cast sculptures and large outdoor fabricated steel sculptures. She intends to continue teaching sculpture and art foundation courses after graduation.
The dynamics of a domestic environment, cycles of the natural world, and portrayal of childhood are explored by Cathy Perry through the use of plant materials captured in bronze, and steel sculptures. Materials she uses for the bronze casting are in a specific state of transition such as the verge of bloom, at full flower or going to seed. The steel sculptures express families entwined, interwoven, and surviving together. Steel rods are manipulated, woven, and twisted together to represent specific points in Perry's childhood memories. The work represents growing up on a farm in southwestern Kentucky with her mother and five sisters. It is connected to family life which cycled through many generations of traditions. Sticks, twigs, and pods found in nature are woven together using different techniques to portray memories of these experiences. Perry's childhood memories with five sisters on the family farm, and the transition to a single parent family are expressed through this body of work.
Born in Memphis, TN, Steven Russell received his undergraduate degree in Illustration from the Ringling College of Art and Design. As an artist his work has always involved collage and altering the found object.Having varied interests and using the found object, Steven has become a collector of the object as well as an artist. Biological specimens, scientific apparatus, museum equipment, and institutional furniture all combine into an installation that both celebrates and critiques the concepts, modes and paraphenalia of both artistic and scientific display.
Sydney Sogol is an artist from Chapel Hill, North Carolina who works with fibers. She obtained her BA in fine art and biology from Earlham College in Indiana. She is fascinated by nature and biology. Specifically, Sogol is interested in animals, which are the subject of her art. Her work mainly focuses on human and animal bonds, and is influenced by her 19 years of horseback riding. Her relationship with her horse Dolly is the inspiration for her MFA thesis series of weavings.
Sydney Sogol's work focuses on the bonds between humans and animals. This series is her visual interpretation of the different stages of her relationship with her horse, Dolly. It traces the growth of their bonds from when they were first paired at a riding academy, and through the various competitions and hurdles they have faced together that have formed their current companionship. Sogol created this series with the relationship between Dolly and herself in mind; however, the phases of this relationship's growth and change over time reflect many types of relationships formed between and among humans and animals. The bond with Dolly has influenced Sogol by giving her the confidence to face life's challenges and the work it inspires illustrates how she and Dolly have formed stronger bonds through shared experiences.
The Wellington B. Gray Gallery is located off of 5th and Jarvis Streets on the campus of East Carolina University in the Jenkins Fine Arts Center. Summer gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM. The gallery is closed for all University holidays. Jenkins Fine Arts Center is handicapped accessible. Parking for the reception is available in the lot surrounding Jenkins Fine Arts Center.
For more information, please contact Tom Braswell, Interim Gallery Director, at (252) 328-6336.