Posts Tagged ‘Cullowhee NC’

Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC, Will Host Visiting Artist Mark Hewitt – Feb. 13, 2014

January 31, 2014


North Carolina potter Mark Hewitt will hold ceramics demonstrations and give an artist’s talk Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, at the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC.


Demonstrations of the art of throwing ceramics will be in Room 151 from 9:30am until noon and 1:30 – 4pm. Hewitt will give an artist’s talk at 5pm in Room 130.

Hewitt’s visit to the WCU School of Art and Design is funded by the Randall and Susan Parrott Ward Endowed Fund for Ceramics. All events are free and open to the public.

Born in Stoke-on-Trent, England, Hewitt is the son and grandson of directors of Spode, makers of fine china. In the early 1970s, he decided to become a studio potter rather than an industrial manager and began apprenticeships with leading ceramic artists in the United States. He and his wife, Carol, moved to Pittsboro in 1983 to set up their pottery studio.

Hewitt specializes in planters and jars and uses local clays in his pieces. His work has been featured in Smithsonian magazine and on the cover of American Craft magazine. He has exhibited throughout the U.S. and in London and Tokyo.

“Mark is an Englishman who settled in a small town near Raleigh because he loves the North Carolina wood-fired ceramics tradition and, I hope he would agree, wants to be part of it. He has become one of the best-known potters in the state,” said Joan Byrd, a WCU professor of ceramics.

For more information, contact Byrd by e-mail at ( or call 828/226-3595.

Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC, Offers Lecture and Demo by Clay Artist Ron Myers – Oct. 16 and 17, 2013

September 17, 2013

Ron Myers, an acclaimed clay artist and University of Georgia emeritus faculty member, will visit Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC, on Oct. 16 and 17, 2013, to meet with students and give demonstrations and talks on the subject of ceramics.

Myers works with red earthenware, creating functional pots “in a casual and spontaneous manner reflecting the juiciness of the material as well as the pleasure of the process,” said Joan Byrd, WCU professor of ceramics. “His narrative, colored slip paintings that float on the surface in a gestural expressionistic style can be both provocative and confrontational,” Byrd said.


Myers holds a master of fine arts degree in ceramics from the School for American Craftsmen at Rochester Institute of Technology and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. He taught at the University of South Carolina from 1967 until 1972. He then spent the next 20 years teaching at the University of Georgia.

Myers has an extensive history of professional activities within the ceramics community. He has been artist-in-residence at WCU and the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Mont. He served as a juror for the 1999 National Council for the Education of Ceramic Arts annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio; the Utilitarian Ceramic National at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, LA; and the Handcrafted Exhibition at Rocky Mount. He has conducted numerous workshops, exhibitions and demonstrations in the US and abroad.

Myers’ schedule at WCU includes individual critiques of student work at 9:30am, Wednesday, Oct. 16, followed that day by a noon illustrated talk on ceramics history in Room 158 of the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center and clay demonstrations from 2:30 until 4:30pm in Room 151 of the Bardo Arts Center. Clay demonstration sessions will begin at 9:30am and 1:30pm, Thursday, Oct. 17, in Room 151, with an artist’s talk at 5pm in Room 130 of the Bardo Arts Center.

His visit is underwritten by the Randall and Susan Parrott Ward Endowed Fund for Ceramics. An exhibition of Myers’ ceramics will be mounted in the Bardo Arts Center’s atrium gallery during this visit. With the exception of the student critiques, all events are free and open to the public.

For more information call Joan Byrd at 828/227-3595.

Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC, Offers Lecture by Elin O’Hara Slavick on Art After the Atomic Bomb

October 12, 2012

Elin O’Hara Slavick, Distinguished Professor of Art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, will give a public talk titled “Art after Aftermath” at 4pm, on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, at Western Carolina University, in Cullowhee, NC. The talk, open to the public free of charge, will be held in Room 130 of the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center.

Slavick, primarily a photographer whose work is based on issues and ideas, will discuss her art and her curatorial activities. Most recently, she has focused on the aftermath of the atomic bomb. In her presentation, she will include photos of atomic bomb artifacts and images from her book “Bomb after Bomb: A Violent Cartography.”

While at WCU, Slavick also will meet with and have critiques with graduate and undergraduate students. Her visit is supported by the School of Art and Design’s Visiting Scholar Funds.

Exposing A-bombed artifacts on cyanotype paper at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Japan, 2011

At UNC Chapel Hill, she teaches studio art, theory and practice. She received her master’s degree in photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College. Slavick has exhibited her work in Hong Kong, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Scotland, England, Cuba, Japan, the Netherlands, Australia, Brazil and across the United States.

Slavick is the author the forthcoming book “After Hiroshima.” She also is a curator, critic and activist. She lives in Chapel Hill with her epidemiologist husband and two children.

For more information, call the WCU School of Art and Design at 828/227-7210.

Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC, Offers Demonstration and Talk by Internationally Renowned Potter Jeffrey Oestreich – Mar. 15, 2012

March 4, 2012

Acclaimed potter Jeffrey Oestreich will demonstrate his work and give an illustrated artist’s talk Thursday, March 15, at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC.

Oestreich will demonstrate clay-forming techniques from 9:30am to noon and 1:30 to 3pm in the Ward Clay Studio, Room 151 of the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center. Beginning at 4pm he will deliver an illustrated artist’s talk in Room 130 of the Bardo Arts Center. A WCU Fine Art Museum Third Thursday wine and appetizer reception for Oestreich will be held at 5pm in the arts center atrium, where a small exhibit of his work will be on display. All events are free and the public is invited.

Potter Jeffrey Oestreich

Oestreich’s geometrically designed functional pottery is primarily salt or soda fired stoneware. A native of Taylors Fall, MN, Oestreich was introduced to ceramics while in college by craft potter Warren MacKenzie. After earning his degree, he apprenticed for two years with British studio potter and teacher Bernard Leach.

“Function is at my core,” Oestreich said of his work. While inspired by the art deco movement and the pottery of Japan and Germany, “All things considered, my approach is American, borrowing from as many sources as speak to me,” he said.

Oestreich has exhibited extensively throughout the country and abroad, and his work is included in the collections of the Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan, among others. In 1986 he received a visual arts grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Oestreich’s visit to WCU – his third – is funded by the university’s Randall and Susan Parrott Ward Endowed Fund for Ceramics. While on campus, he will work closely with ceramics students, making pottery beside them in the studio, answering questions and discussing their work.

“Jeff is a particular friend of the clay studio,” said Joan Byrd, ceramics professor in the WCU School of Art and Design. “He is a highly creative artist and an exceptional teacher. It is a particular pleasure to welcome him to campus again.”

For more information, contact Joan Byrd at 828/227-3595 or by e-mail at (

Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center in Asheville, NC, Offers Two Lecture by Eleanor Heartney in Two Locations – Mar. 5 & 6, 2012

February 6, 2012

Award-winning arts writer Eleanor Heartney will speak in Cullowhee, NC, and Asheville, NC, about Contemporary Art and Women Artists. Heartney will give two lively presentations about contemporary art on Mar. 5 (Cullowhee) and Mar. 6 (Asheville). Heartney’s talks will include related images and raise philosophical questions about art and the contemporary artist’s role in society.

The first talk, Tales of Plastic Surgery, Genetically Altered Rabbits, and Other Acts of Art, will take place on Monday, Mar. 5, 2012 at 5pm in Western Carolina University’s Bardo Art Center, room 130. The lecture title refers to two of the many artists examined in Heartney’s book Art & Now.

“One of those artists, Eduardo Kac, genetically altered a rabbit to glow green under certain light; the other, French artist Orlan, had parts of her face surgically altered to resemble women in famous art historical paintings,” according to WCU Associate Professor of Art, Marya Roland. “Both Kac and Orlan push the limits of what we consider art, and in her book, Heartney poses the question, ‘should we do things simply because we can?’” The lecture is free and open to the public.

On Tuesday, Mar. 6, 2012, at 7:30pm, Heartney will present Out of the Shadows: the Changing Place of Women Artists in Our Times at the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, 56 Broadway, Asheville, NC. Heartney will discuss the broader topic of women artists’ changing roles and relate it, in particular, to painter Pat Passlof who has concurrent exhibitions at Western Carolina University’s Fine Art Museum and BMCM+AC. Heartney wrote the essay contained in the exhibition catalogue for the exhibitions. Admission is $10 for public and $5 for BMCM+AC members and students w/ID.

Heartney is a contributing editor for Art in America and has written extensively for other publications including Artnews, The New Art Examiner, the Washington Post, and The New York Times. She is author of several noteworthy books about art such as Art and Now, Defending Complexity: Art, Politics and the New World Order, and Critical Condition: American Culture at the Crossroads, and she is co-author of After the Revolution: Women who Transformed Contemporary Art, winner of the Susan Koppelman Award. The recipient of the College Art Association’s Frank Jewett Mather Award for distinction in art criticism, Heartney is also a past President of AICA-USA, the American section of the International Art Critics Association. In 2008 she was honored by the French government as a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Heartney’s visit to WNC is supported by a Western Carolina University Visiting Scholar’s Grant, the WCU School of Art and Design, and Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center with support from the North Carolina Arts Council, the Beattie Foundation and The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation.

The Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center preserves and continues the unique legacy of educational and artistic innovation of Black Mountain College for public study and enjoyment. We achieve our mission through collection, conservation, and educational activities including exhibitions, publications, and public programs.

For further information call 828/350-8484 or visit (

Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC, Offers Lecture by Artist-in-residence Andrea Dezsö – Feb. 9, 2012

January 31, 2012

Visual artist Andrea Dezsö will speak at 4pm, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012, in Room 130 of the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center on the campus of Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC.

The lecture is free and the public is invited.

Originally from Eastern Europe, Dezsö specializes in handmade books, cut-paper illustration, embroidery, sculpture, animation and large-scale public art. Her work reflects her childhood in Soviet-controlled Romania. Her hand-painted tunnel books were shown at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York and a room-sized tunnel book was installed at the Rice Gallery in Houston.

Shown here is an original book by Andrea Dezsö about dead insects bound by the artist on cotton paper, 5 inches by 5 inches, 2004.

Her cut-paper illustrations have appeared in numerous national publications including The New York Times, Village Voice, The Wall Street Journal and Harper’s Magazine. She has received fellowships from institutions such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Tamarind Institute and New York Foundation for the Arts. Her large-scale garden mosaic for the New York City subway was awarded Best American Public Art in 2007.

“I’m interested in Andrea’s work because of her rich imagination, impeccable craft and delightful sense of humor,” said Matthew Liddle, associate professor in the WCU School of Art and Design. “Her work is appealing because it is ambitious and fun and includes an exciting variety of approaches and techniques.”

Sometimes in My Dreams I Fly, by Andrea Dezsö a 2010 site-specific installation at Rice Gallery, 45 feet long and 15 feet tall of painted, hand-cut board, laser-cut paper and lights.

Dezsö’s visit to WCU is part of a multiday residency sponsored by WCU’s Fine Art Museum, School of Art and Design, College of Fine and Performing Arts, Office of International Programs and Services and the Visiting Scholars Program. During her visit, she will work with students, make an original print in the university’s printmaking studio and work with the art museum to plan an upcoming exhibit.

For more information, call Matthew Liddle at 828/227-3594 or e-mail to (

The Catamount Statue at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC, is in the Holiday Spirit

December 9, 2011

The Catamount statue at the main entrance of Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC, is in the holiday spirit. The bronze statue is wearing a bright red and green sweater courtesy of the WNC Fiber Folk Group, whose members share an interest in fiber arts including knitting and crocheting. Group members “yarn bombed” the big cat Thursday, Dec. 8, and will remove the sweater Friday, Dec. 16, 2011.

Knitting a sweater for the Catamount grew out of the group’s weekly meetings at the WCU Fine Art Museum. The sweater project not only was fun, but also is part of a contemporary, worldwide artistic movement, said Denise Drury, interim director of the WCU Fine Art Museum and Fiber Folk organizer. Yarn bombing is the practice of wrapping a structure in the public landscape in knitted or crocheted cloth. Unlike graffiti, yarn installations are not permanent and can easily be removed. The practice began in the mid-2000s and has spread around the world.

“As a university, this is where experimentation in the arts begins, and we need to foster that,” said Drury, who alerted University Police prior to the project so the effort wouldn’t be identified as vandalism.

Jessica Breen, a group member and an assistant in the WCU Biology Department, created the five-foot-long sweater over four days on an electric knitting loom. Not only is the project her first experience yarn bombing, but it also is her first experience knitting a sweater. “The Catamount got all my holiday knitting,” Breen said, adding that the statue won’t complain if the sweater is “itchy or doesn’t fit right.”

Other Fiber Folk members who participated in the project were Jen Nickel of the Center for Service Learning, Nicole Parrish of Campus Recreation and Wellness and Elizabeth Snyder of the Office of Planning and Effectiveness. The group sewed the completed sweater onto the statue, and as an added touch, lined the sweater’s collar with battery-powered colored lights.

The Catamount statue is a 2000 gift from longtime WCU benefactor Irwin Belk. It was commissioned by the university and moved to its location at the campus entrance in 2006. Over the years, the Catamount has been victim of numerous improprieties, said Roger Turk, WCU grounds superintendent. “Obviously, this is done in better taste. There was a positive motive behind it,” Turk said.

The WNC Fiber Folk Group formed earlier this year with the intention of creating items to raise awareness about social issues affecting the world community. Members have crafted pieces for the “Asheville Reef,” a satellite of the worldwide “Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef” project, and items depicting food in support of the WCU Poverty Project (those items are on display in the Star Lobby, adjacent to the museum, through December).

For more information about the WNC Fiber Folk Group or the WCU Fine Art Museum, contact Drury at 828/227-2553 or e-mail to (

WNC Fiber Folk Group in Cullowhee, NC, is Looking for New Members

September 14, 2011

Community members with an interest in fiber arts are invited to join the WNC Fiber Folk Group, which meets weekly from noon to 1 p.m. Thursdays in the Star Atrium of the Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC.

The WNC Fiber Folk Group crochets items to raise awareness about social issues affecting the world community. The crochet items are intended for display around WCU and Western North Carolina.

Denise Drury, interim director of the WCU Fine Art Museum, formed the WNC Fiber Folk Group with WCU faculty and staff during the summer of 2011. Almost immediately, members set out crafting pieces for the “Asheville Reef,” a satellite reef of the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef. The project is designed to raise awareness of dangers threatening the Great Barrier Reef, off Australia’s coast, and groups around the world have created satellite reefs to complement the principal reef. The WNC Fiber Folk Group created the “Asheville Reef” (on free exhibit through Oct. 5 in Karpen Hall at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, NC) in an effort with four other groups from across Western North Carolina.

From left, group members Jen Nickel, Denise Drury and Laura Sellers crochet additions to the “Asheville Reef”.

The group helps contribute to the greater art community of WNC, Drury said. “It also is a way for nonprofessional artists to add to the creative future, while building a sense of community around the Fine Art Museum,” Drury said. “We’re not just a white box full of art. We are a community.”

With the reef project complete, the 10-member group is on to new things. Group member Jen Nickel suggested that the group take on a new project for a national hunger awareness event in November. This time, instead of crocheting items depicting coral, group members will crochet items depicting food.

For more information about the WNC Fiber Folk Group, contact Drury at 828/227-2553 or e-mail to ( The group also is online on the WCU Fine Arts Museum’s Facebook page.

Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC, Sponsors Contest Focused on Native American Life – Deadline Sept. 20, 2011

September 9, 2011

“Contemporary Native American Life” is the theme of an arts competition sponsored by Western Carolina University, Southwestern Community College and the Oconaluftee Institute for Cultural Arts in Cherokee.

The contest is open to kindergarten through high school students of the six western most counties (Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson, Macon and Swain in NC) and the Qualla Boundary, and to students of WCU and SCC. Entries are limited to one per person, with cash prizes of $200, $150 and $100 awarded to the top three entries in each of two categories: photography and two-dimensional art (not including photography).

The contest, in its first year, is meant to encourage emerging artists as well as to generate poster art for the 2011 Native American Heritage Expo, planned for Nov. 7-9, 2011, at Western Carolina, said Hartwell Francis, director of WCU’s Cherokee Language Program. “We’re interested in what it means to be an Indian today,” Francis said. Robert Conley, the WCU Sequoyah Distinguished Professor in Cherokee Studies, will serve as a contest judge, along with two community members. The six winning contest entries will be incorporated into expo posters and also featured in a 2012 wall calendar from WCU and the Oconaluftee Institute for Cultural Arts, which partners with WCU and SCC to help students progress from an associate degree to bachelor’s degree in fine arts.

Winners will be announced in early October, and an exhibit of the top 20 submissions is planned at OICA beginning Oct. 10, 2011.

Entry submissions are free and are due by Friday, Sept. 30, 2011.

Artwork should be at least 8 inches by 10 inches but no larger than 11 inches by 17 inches. Artwork may be submitted in person to the Oconaluftee Institute for Cultural Arts at 70 Bingo Loop Road in Cherokee, NC, or by mail (postmarked by Tuesday, Sept. 20) to OICA, P.O. Box 920, Cherokee, NC 28719. Entries must include the artist’s name, address, telephone number and e-mail address.

Entry forms are available online at ( WARNING: This link causes   some browsers to block it.

For more information, contact Francis at 828/227-2303 or e-mail to (

Western Carolina University Professor Anna Fariello Writes Book on Cherokee Pottery

April 19, 2011

Anna Fariello, associate research professor at Western Carolina University’s Hunter Library in Cullowhee, NC, and director of the craft revival project, has completed a new book titled, Cherokee Pottery.

The book traces the designs and patterns of Cherokee pottery as they have developed over centuries and into contemporary times. It recounts “the history of a tradition passed from elder to child through countless generations,” according to the book’s publisher, History Press. The 160-page book, published in March, contains both archival and new images of the region, pots and potters. The book is $12.99 and available through ( and local booksellers.

Cherokee Pottery follows Fariello’s Cherokee Basketry of 2009. Both are part of the “From the Hands of our Elders” series, and both were funded in part through the Cherokee Preservation Foundation.

Fariello also recently was awarded a $24,998 grant from the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership that will fund an online component of mountain potteries and Cherokee potters as part of the craft revival project ( and the creation of a trail brochure covering both Cherokee and mountain potteries. The BRNHA Partnership is the nonprofit organization charged with preserving, interpreting, developing, and celebrating the rich and unique natural and cultural heritage in the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.

The craft revival website makes a massive database of images and documents accessible online. The site has been nominated for awards from the Appalachian Studies Association and the North Carolina Folklore Society, it was a monthly feature on the State Library of North Carolina website in December 2009, and it was awarded a “Best of the Web” designation from LearnNC, a leading scholarly website focused on K-12 education. The website and work on Cherokee crafts earned Fariello the NC Folklore Society’s 2010 Brown-Hudson Folklore Award.

Since arriving at WCU in 2005, Fariello has written eight successful state, federal and private foundation grants for the library’s digital collections totaling $609,400.

“I am aiming for a million,” Fariello said.

She is author of two previous interpretive texts, Objects & Meaning and Blue Ridge Roadways as well as visual arts editor for the Encyclopedia of Appalachia. Fariello holds advanced art and museum study degrees from James Madison University and Virginia Commonwealth University. She was a former research fellow at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art.

In March, Fariello participated in the ninth annual think tank sponsored by the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design at the Kellogg Center in Hendersonville, NC. This year’s discussion focused on exploration and collaboration, ways to advance craft practice and theory in education, and conceptualizing the place of the individual artist outside the studio.

For more information about Cherokee Pottery or the Craft Revival project, contact Fariello at 828/227-2499 or e-mail to (


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