Alumni Damien Stamer and Stacey Kirby awarded 2014 NC Arts Council Fellowships

Congratulations to MFA Damian Stamer and Undergraduate Stacey Kirby on receiving 2014-2105 North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowships!

Artists receive a fellowship to support creative development and the creation of new work. Recipients were selected by panels comprised of artists and arts professionals with expertise in each discipline.

The N.C. Arts Council’s Artist Fellowship program operates on a two-year rotating cycle by discipline. Writers of prose, poets, playwrights, screenwriters, songwriters, and composers are eligible to apply for the Monday, Nov. 3, 2014 deadline. Additional information is available at

For more information on the N.C. Arts Council visit

MFA Candidate Alyssa Miserendino in upcoming group show in Chicago

©Alyssa Miserendino_Our World Insideout_My Block_Book

SEPTEMBER 13, 2014 – JANUARY 4, 2015
Guest Curated by Tricia Van Eck, Exhibition Showcases Work
by Artists in Professional Development Program

CHICAGO – Hyde Park Art Center is proud to present the third annual exhibition of work from participants in their flagship artist professional development initiative, The Center Program. Curated by Tricia Van Eck, Director of 6018North, an experimental non-profit art space in Chicago, 23 students from the unique program will exhibit work in all media in “Front & Center,” September 13, 2014 – January 4, 2015.

Developed by the Art Center, The Center Program is dedicated to building critical dialogue for professional artists seeking to advance their practice. Over the course of six months established guest artists, gallerists, and critics push Center Program artists to dig deep and answer tough questions that will result in each artist producing a strong, new body of work that is presented in the Art Center exhibition, “Front & Center.” Through this process participants gain a strong peer and professional network, support in thinking critically about how they approach their art, and the opportunity to introduce their new work to a broad audience.

“As one of the many Center Program’s mentors, I have watched, guided, and encouraged these artists to push their aesthetic and conceptual ideas into new and ambitious territory.” said Van Eck. “In working closely with artists, curators, advisors, and each other, this program has given the artists wings. Now it’s exciting to further encourage them to extend their ideas into the gallery and the real world to ambitiously connect with audiences and each other through this exhibition, which for many, will be their first major exhibition.”

The 2014 class of Center Program artists includes: Kevin Blake, Juarez Hawkins, Karen Hirsch, Carolyn Cronin Hughes, James Jankowiak, Lisa Jenschke, Steve Juras, Beth Kamhi, Christine La Rue, Victor Lopez, Alyssa Miserendino, Christian Ortiz, Margaret Park, Janet Krehbiel Pieracci, Gonzalo Reyes, Sheri Rush, Caitlin Ryan, Christopher Saclolo, Carla Fisher Schwartz, Casey Smallwood, Dorian Sylvain, Sadie Woods, and Rodrigo Lara Zendejas.

A reception celebrating “Front & Center” will take place during Hyde Park Art Center’s 75th Anniversary Block Party BBQ Bash, Saturday, September 13, 5 pm – 8 pm. The free, all day event runs from 12:00 pm-9:00 pm, and represents a moment for Chicagoans to come together and celebrate our city’s artists, the community that embraces them, and the Art Center’s legacy of supporting both.

A natural outgrowth of the Art Center’s progressive and scaffolded arts education programs, The Center Program was first piloted in 2012 as a response to the existence of critical gaps in accessible professional development offerings for artists. Traditional MFA programs are frequently cost-prohibitive; artists of color are underrepresented; and, many artists who have obtained an MFA find that they simply want more: more time and space to deepen their practice, more critical feedback and guidance, and more exposure. Proven by the growing demand for the program, through The Center Program the Art Center is addressing these needs by offering working artists a unique combination of access to materials and space to develop a rigorous studio practice–outside of a university setting.

To further its impact, The Center Program also aligns with a new year-long Visual Arts Certificate Program (VACP). In partnership with The University of Chicago Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies, the VACP is designed to help artists further their studio practice while developing strengths in critiquing, teaching, presenting, and writing about art. Curating exhibitions, negotiating contracts, conducting studio visits, and writing press releases are just some of the professional practices that artists can master, yet instruction in these skills is largely absent from BFA and MFA curricula. The VACP aims to fill this experiential divide that exists in degree programs, with The Center Program providing the studio component of the certificate. Each year, artists may apply for The Center Program as a stand-alone opportunity, or to the VACP.

The Center Program’s 2014 roster of guest professionals includes critic Susan Snodgrass, museum educator Annie Morse from the Art Institute of Chicago, photographer and educator Dawoud Bey, artist Juan Angel Chavez, gallerist and historian Jim Dempsey of Corbett vs. Dempsey; Stockyard Institute founder and chair of Arts Education at DePaul University Jim Duignan and gallerist Dan Devening of Devening Projects, as well as 6018North curator Tricia Van Eck.

About Tricia Van Eck
After 13 years of working at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, where she was Associate Curator, Tricia Van Eck left to focus on 6018North. Her last project at the MCA was the Chicago presentation of Mark Bradford’s Retrospective and his community residency exhibition. At the MCA she presented more than 70 exhibitions much of which were audience engaged, interactive, or extended the MCA’s reach into the community such as “Interactions: A Four month series of artist and audience activations” as a companion to “Without You I Am Nothing: Art and Its Audience,” Jan Tichy’s “Project Cabrini Green,” “Theaster Gates: Temple Exercises,” “Tino Sehgal’s Kiss, Here/Not There,” and “Hide and Seek: An Out of Gallery Experience.” She curated the MCA Chicago presentations of various traveling exhibitions such as “Buckminster Fuller: Starting with the Universe,” “Italics: Tradition and Revolution, Italian Art from 1968-2008” and “Andy Warhol: Supernova.” She coordinated numerous exhibitions including the Jeff Koons retrospective and curated numerous exhibitions of Chicago artists including “Mapping the Self” and “Kerry James Marshall: One True Thing Meditations on Black Aesthetics” as well as many artists’ book shows and “UBS 12 x 12: New Artists/New Work” exhibitions, which showcased the work of emerging Chicago artists.

Hyde Park Art Center is a unique resource that advances contemporary visual art in Chicago by connecting artists and communities in unexpected ways. As an open forum for exploring the artistic process, the Art Center fosters creativity through making, learning about, seeing, and discussing art—all under one roof. The Art Center is funded in part by: Alphawood Foundation; Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts; a City Arts III grant from the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events; Field Foundation of Illinois; Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts; Harper Court Arts Council; Harpo Foundation; Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; Illinois Humanities Council; Irving Harris Foundation; Joyce Foundation; Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince; National Endowment for the Arts; National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Illinois General Assembly; Polk Bros. Foundation; David C and Sarajean Ruttenberg Arts Foundation; Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust; and the generosity of its members and people like you.

Artwork by undergraduate Ash Conrad on cover of Journal of Clinical Investigation

Congratulations to Ash Conrad, whose painting made as part of elin o’Hara slavick’s Visualizing Science course from Spring 2013 is now the cover for the August issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Ash will be pursuing an honors degree in the 2014-2015 school year.


The cover artwork depicts factor XIII, fibrinogen, and red blood cells (rbc) in a clot.

Help Fund Alumna Laena Wilder’s Public Art Project at Miami International Airport

Origins and Destinations

Beauty  -  Humanity  -  Story-telling  -  Connection

The seeds for this project were planted years ago – when I was 10 years old walking down Market street, in San Francisco with my best friend and our art teacher Barbara Marino. That day Barbara taught me to seek beauty in the uniqueness of each person I passed – a profound way of looking at the world.

Each day I use curiosity as a guide to see humanity with a new lens. The sublime often hides in unexpected places.

Flash forward. I was at the Miami International Airport, stuck waiting for a plane, looking around, and I noticed what an incredibly diverse population was present there. I started to think about how each person has an origin and a destination that is like a thread that leads them from where they began to where they are going. At that moment what I was witnessing was the living tapestry of all of those threads coming together. I felt deeply inspired.

In the past, I’ve done portrait projects working with communities, where people are either living or working together. But in the case of the Miami International Airport, what intrigued me is that it is a sub-culture of impermanence. I started to think how amazing it would be if someone were to document, show each of these different people, each of these different stories, moving through this complex crossroads. In that moment I conceived this project.

So, first I approached the Miami Airport. They said they did not have funding to help, but they would be happy to give me practical support and that they would love to show the exhibition. Next, I found bi-lingual interviewer Mark Menjivar and Anthropologists Francisco Sastre and Allessandra Rosa to assist me at the airport with the interview process.

I worked on this project over the span of a full year, making six trips to Miami. Altogether, we photographed and interviewed over 200 people. Going behind security, hanging out with Cuban families at the Customs Exit and approaching complete strangers were all part of the process. The generosity of the participants was beautiful.  No two interactions were alike, each person jumped onboard in their own unique way.  The range of folks that we met and got to interact with was vast and ever changing.

An Invitation for a Different Perspective

One of the things I find interesting about being at an airport is that you’re in an in-between stage, between your origin and your destination. This exhibit is made to be presented and experienced in that space.

I’m offering a multi-faceted experience for the viewer.  The portraits will not be displayed in a conventional setting or a conventional way.  What I envision for the final exhibition is to have 40 of the portraits and interviews printed large-scale on transparent material. They will be hung in front of the terminal windows so that the viewer will actually be able to see through the suspended photographs.

The large images will have a ghostlike quality to them, suggesting the presence and essence of the people that came before on their journeys. Each portrait will have their corresponding interview displayed next to it, giving them identity. Rather than being nameless faces – each person will have a story. (pls. see a few of the stories in the ‘gallery’ area of this website. The text area is limited by Indiegogo so some of the stories have been cut off)

This exhibition also welcomes awareness of the viewers’ own presence within the dynamic cultural landscape. It welcomes curiosity – and it might get the viewer to look at the person next to them with new eyes. It welcomes belonging – to feel connected to humanity at large.

Your Help Makes All the Difference

Up until now this has been a labor of love. I have passionately devoted my time, energy and money to this project because I believe in the innate beauty of humanity and I want to share that vision. Your support will expand this project from a self-funded, self-promoted under-taking to a larger community effort. Teaming-up with you will give “Origins and Destinations” the wings it needs to reach the audience it is seeking, and make an impact.

The money raised during this campaign will go directly to produce the “Origins and Destinations” exhibition. This includes: printing 40 of the portraits large scale, applying them to plexiglas, installing them at the airport, transcribing, editing, translating and printing the corresponding interviews and getting the whole exhibit shipped from San Francisco, to Miami and back. Any money raised beyond my Indiegogo goal will go toward building an interactive website and beyond that, a book, so that this project can reach a larger global audience.

Any amount you can give will be greatly appreciated. : )

Thank you for taking the time to watch my video and support this “Origins and Destinations” campaign. If you can’t contribute monetarily, please help get the word out – tell a friend, pass it along through Facebook, Twitter etc. You can even use the tools right on this Indiegogo page to share.

Your support on all levels adds tremendously to the realization of this exhibition and the spirit of global community and connection it aims to achieve. Thank you ALL from the bottom of my heart.


  • Portraits: 40 printed large-scale and applied to plexi @ $285 each = $11,400
  • Hardware for Installation @ $22 each x 40 = $880
  • All Interviews Transcribed  $610
  • Interviews translated into Spanish and English for exhibition  $650
  • Interviews printed for exhibition @ $16 each x 40 = $640
  • Crating and shipping costs for exhibition @ $815 each way = $1630
  • Indiegogo fees $1740
  • Cost for Perks $950

Thank you

It takes a community to bring an undertaking like this to life. “Origins and Destinations” has come this far thanks to the practical help, moral support and encouragement of: My Mom Arlene Wiltberger, Jeffrey Vroom, Cynthia and Jeff Gneiser, Hailey and Craig Dillon, LaCie Corporation, Six Seconds, Francisco Sastre, Florent at Dezign with a Z,  Mark Menjivar, Yolanda Sanchez, Victoria Bogdan, Allessandra Rosa, Matthew Pendergast, Kip Baldwin, Jim Berger, Matthew Wakem, Slim, Kimowan Metchewais, Carolina Salazar, Jane Jones, Hugh and Mary Behm-Steinberg, Karen Stone McCown, Josh Freedman, Claire and Tom Mills, Sabrina Ferrand, Ed Yarbrough, Carlos Arrieta, Sofia Kanavle, Kenan, Jaymie and Solah Malik, Jessica James, David Ventura, Genevieve Walker, Michelle Charles, Sigal Gerber, Ann Jastrab, Mikkel Aaland, Roger Minick, Guru Khalsa, Ben Baum, and Jim Campbell. Thank you ALL.

The “Origins and Destinations” project and exhibition is dedicated to Barbara Marino, my beloved elementary school Art Teacher – I am forever grateful to her.

About Laena

For Laena Wilder, photography not only opens dialogue, but it also creates a thought-provoking record. With an under-graduate degree in documentary photography and a Masters of Fine Arts Degree from the University of North Carolina, Wilder uses the camera as a tool for gathering cultural information and facilitating exchange within racially diverse communities.

Wilder’s photographic projects include several ‘kids with camera’s’ projects she created and executed that promote diversity and cultural understanding within communities from North Carolina to Durban, South Africa. Her efforts have earned her a prestigious Rockefeller Fellowship Grant and her visual research has taken her around the world.

Exhibitions of Wilder‘s photographs have been displayed internationally and domestically including: SECCA – the South Eastern Center for Contemporary Art, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, the Kostroma Municipal Gallery in Russia, and Foto Gallerie in Hong Kong among others. Her work is in several private and corporate collections including San Francisco’s Modernism Gallery and the Gap Corporate Art Collection.

Laena cherishes her many years of experience as an educator. Her curricula have included several practical, conceptual, and historical photography courses taught at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, the University of San Francisco, the Academy of Art University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

A few years back, Wilder teamed up with Anthropologist Mary Strong and the University of Texas Press to produce a very distinctive textbook: Viewpoints, Visual Anthropologists at Work. This book introduces future anthropologists, photographers, and documentarians to the practical, ethical, and cultural issues that arise while working with a camera in the field

Wilder’s projects have garnered generous financial and material support from the Polaroid Corporation, the Rockefeller Foundation, UCIS – the University Center for International Studies, the Epson Corporation, LaCie, Ritz Camera’s, Central Carolina Bank, The Konica Corporation and Community 2000, a division of the Civil Rights Organization.

To contribute, go here.

Alumna Carolyn Goodridge raises funds for Siblings Together USA

Art For A Cause

Art Exhibit Presented by

Wax Works, Art For A CauseAugust 8th through September 7th, 2014. This show is the first fundraising art exhibit for Siblings Together USA with 18 pieces of artwork on view. Visit for more info.

The artist’s proceeds will be donated  Gallery Hours: Thursday – Sunday, 10:00am-5:00pm, or by appointment or by chance.

Encaustic Workshops by Carolyn Goodridge – August 12th and 13th at Jarrett Thor Fine Arts.   Register by contacting Jarrett Thor Fine Arts, 804-224-7200 • •


Image Above: “Submerged”, by Carolyn Goodridge, 20”h x 24”w, Encaustic, Glass Frit, Oil and Epoxy Resin on Wood Panel

Many current and alumni MFA exhibitions in Durham this month

UNC is taking over Durham in July and August! You can see work by some of our current and alum MFA students at the following:

The Scrap Exchange

Alison Tierney in the Green Gallery, Between Intuition and Reason, through August 9

The Carrack Modern Art

William Paul Thomas and Antoine Williams, Nah/Mean?!, through July 26. See the fantastic IndyWeek review here.

Golden Belt Studios

Open Studio on Third Fridays with Lile Stephens, Durham Art Guild Artist-in-Residence


On View Now, Ackland Exhibition curated by Russell Gullette

Congratulations to Art History graduate student Russell Gullette on the fine exhibition he curated at the Ackland Museum! Contemplating East Asia: Mark Tobey and Sam Francis brings together works from the Ackland and the North Carolina Museum of Art, including some very rarely seen works. On view until 31 August 2014. Make it your first stop when you get back to campus for the fall semester!