Special Features

February Issue 2000

Appalachian State University Shows Works by Art Faculty

An exhibit at Appalachian State University's Catherine J. Smith Gallery in Boone, NC will feature a diverse and exciting array of recent works by faculty members in the Department of Art. The exhibit, sponsored by Appalachian's Office of Cultural Affairs and the Catherine J. Smith Gallery, will run from Jan. 18 - Feb. 18.

"Appalachian's art faculty carry on a long tradition of critical and creative education which leads to some of the finest student work to be found on a university campus," states Ming Land, dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts. "I applaud the art faculty on their professional commitment and dedication to teaching and learning," says Land. "This exhibition makes it clear that this department is fortunate to house a talented group of professionals whose diverse approaches to content and technique make studying within this program challenging and truly educational."

Participating in the exhibit are faculty members Kathleen Campbell, Joan Smyly Durden, Alex Horstman, Judy Humphrey, Robin Kerr Martindale, Ed Midgett, Gary Nemcosky, Glenn Phifer, Eric Purves, Lisa Stinson, Marianne Stevens Suggs, Jim Toub, Gayle Weitz, Barbara Yale-Read, Margaret Yaukey, Therese Zemlin, Tim Ford, Hank Foreman, Elissa Graff, Elaine Hathor, Kyle Van Lusk, Margaret Martine, Mary Perry, Mary Prather, Nancy Sokolove, and Ann Thompson.

In addition, a special section of the exhibit will be devoted to the work of longtime art faculty member Sherry Edwards, who passed away last spring.

"Faculty exhibitions are an extremely important tool in helping the community understand what is happening in the visual arts, and in learning how these professionals are relating to the changing world," observes Land.

In addition, exhibits of this type enable students to experience the work of the arts professionals they interact with daily, according to Land. "This experience broadens the relationship between student and faculty, and provides a wonderful role model for students," he says, adding that "the local and regional communities are also provided an opportunity to understand the quality and diversity that makes this department an asset to the university."

Of her exhibited work Angel of Science (hand-painted gelatin silver print), Kathleen Campbell observes that "although the work is ironic in nature and even humorous at times, my intent is serious. In attempting to create an illusion of another, more spiritual reality, I try to suggest the void in which our contemporary lack of belief leaves us. Baudelaire once said, 'We walk through a forest of symbols.' By using such symbols, I hope to touch on the conflicts between the reality of our everyday lives and the universal longing for transcendence. Heaven is always just outside our reach. We are grounded in a disappointing materialism, forever hoping each illusion will lead us to some spiritual truth."

Shimmering of Tigerman (digital and blind embossed print) by Alex Horstman touches on aspects of the human form, juxtaposed with technological developments and traditional methods in artmaking, which serve as the primary foundations for his work. "Events of a cultural, social, or political nature provide the initial catalyst," says Horstman. "The actual pieces, however, speak from a position of intimacy. The philosophical mechanisms that dictate the early shaping of a work become secondary to the independent expression upon completion. This encourages viewers to apply their own meaning and interpretation, freeing the work from overt explanation and categorization."

Judy Humphrey's Viral Pestilence Number Two (color blend lithograph) is part of her "Human Pestilence" series, which addresses social ills- environmental, viral, emotional, physical, prejudicial, psychological-and our often futile attempts to combat their symptoms and cosmetic effects. "The immediacy of the print allows me to work more methodically yet indirectly," notes Humphrey, "which further reflects the often cursory nature of human response and efforts towards serious social issues and events."

Robin Kerr Martindale's Three Faces of Me (graphite on paper, wood) deals with expression- particularly expression that relates to the human face and the mouth. "I am fascinated by how people use their faces to communicate more than what they are saying verbally," says Martindale, "and by how their facial expressions sometimes contradict what is being said verbally."

War Requiem: Dr. Fathi Soboh (mixed media) by Nancy Sokolove deals with themes of human rights. "Dr. Fathi Soboh is a Palestinian university professor imprisoned and tortured for his political views and teachings by the Palestinian Authority," explains Sokolove. "When injustice occurs and human rights are violated, it is our responsibility to speak out loud."

In commenting on her work entitled Gifts (fiber, handmade paper, ribbons, found objects), Marianne Stevens Suggs notes that "Recently, two art department colleagues have experienced much wanted pregnancies. Knowing how much these two babies were desired and are or will be cherished and cared for and loved unconditionally reminded me once again of my earlier work about the 2.48 children under twelve that are murdered each day in the US. These are children that are not cherished and cared for and loved unconditionally. The ten woven and knitted aprons each have eight pockets that gently hold a total of eighty gifts, gifts of sorrow and hope for the eighty children who will be murdered during the course of the exhibit."

Ed Midgett's Storm Clouds (Iris GiClée print) came about as a result of his trip to the Four Corners area of the Southwestern US. Digital combinations of several source photographs were made in an attempt to create a "new reality." "This new reality," explains Midgett, "is born from the digital media itself in recreating the quality of 'straight' photography, but also from the notion of re-inventing the landscape genre, attempting to 'improve' nature by fooling the eye. At the same time I hope to convey some of the emotion and overwhelming spiritual presence that was evoked while visiting this particular place in the world, a feeling that can not be verbalized but is understood by anyone who has ever been there."

These and works by twenty other faculty members will be on display at the Catherine J. Smith Gallery.

For more info check our NC Institutional Gallery listings or call 828/262-3017.

Recent Work from the Appalachian State University Art Faculty

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Kathleen Campbell, Angel of Science, hand-painted gelatin silver print

Joan Smyly Durden, Binary Opposition

Sherry Edwards, Bronze of Chancellor Plemmons

Alex Horstman, Shimmering of Tigerman

Judy Humphrey, Viral Pestilence Number Two

Robin Kerr Martindale, Three Faces of Me

Ed Midgett, Storm Clouds

Gary Nemcosky, Millenial Vanitas 3

Glenn Phifer, Haitian Voodoo Doll


Article, Page 1, Page 2, Page 3

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