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New Book from PhD Alumnus Michael Yonan

August 26, 2019

Congratulations to PhD Alumnus Michael Yonan, Professor of Art History at the University of Missouri, on the recent publication of Eighteenth-Century Art Worlds: Global and Local Geographies of Art, ed. Stacey Sloboda and Michael Yonan (New York: Bloomsbury, 2019). While the connected, international character of today’s art world is well known, the eighteenth century too had a global art world. Eighteenth-Century Art Worlds is the first book to attempt a map of the global art world of the eighteenth century. Fourteen essays from a distinguished group of scholars explore both cross-cultural connections and local specificities of art production and consumption in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe. The result is an account of a series of interconnected and asymmetrical art worlds that were well developed in the eighteenth century.

Michael was also a visiting guest professor in the Institute for Culture and Aesthetics at Stockholm University, in Stockholm, Sweden in Spring 2019 and will be returning there for Spring 2020.

PhD Alumna Elizabeth C Teviotdale Publishes Revised Edition of Standard Reference Work on Illuminated Manuscripts

August 20, 2019

Michelle P. Brown’s Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts, originally published in 1994 and a standard English-language reference work on the terminology associated with the study of European illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, has been published in a new edition revised by Elizabeth C. Teviotdale (PhD, 1991) and Nancy K. Turner. The text of the original edition has been substantially revised and new terms have been introduced relating to the emerging science of the study of materials in manuscripts. The text has also been updated to better conform with contemporary usage. An entirely new suite of color images—mostly from Getty manuscripts acquired since the original edition was published—illustrates the dictionary-style text, with images accompanying terms that can most benefit from illustration. The new edition has been labeled “essential” by Choice, and Nicholas Herman in The Medieval Review writes: “The authors of this excellent mise-à-jour should be thanked for their contribution to what will remain a standard introductory and reference resource.”

Teviotdale, who was a curator in the Department of Manuscripts at the J. Paul Getty Museum for ten years, has been the Assistant Director of the Medieval Institute at Western Michigan University since 2002. Her other publications include The Stammheim Missal (2001) and Das Sakramentar von Beauvais (2011).

Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts, revised by Elizabeth C. Teviotdale and Nancy K. Turner

Alumnus Peter Hoffman named Graduate Fellow for Useful Fictions Symposium and Exhibition

August 13, 2019

Useful Fictions is a week-long symposium and a public participatory art project in Paris. It is a platform to embrace complex problems by modeling radical openness to research in which tools, laboratories, studios are shared between artists and scientists to expand concepts for ecological thinking. Useful Fictions proposes to see the calculation of a catastrophic future not as an inevitability but as an invitation to innovate and effect change. Bridging the divide between urgency and agency, the project gathers a coalition of artists, designers, humanists, and graduate students to work with globally acclaimed climate scientists in their laboratories to build future machines and write absurd fictions.

This project invites critique of the human-centered narrative that dominates and defines contemporary cultural consciousness. The issues we are faced with challenge us to reclaim knowledge creation by examining the idea of proxy and measurements in ways that will expand anthropocentric lenses. Through the use of both critical discourse and practice-based research in art, design, and science, as well as case studies in climate science and related contextual research, we will ask: “What controls the manufacturing of our systems of belief? What stories do we tell ourselves? Can we imagine differently?”

Chosen from a competitive selection process based on an International Open Call, graduate fellows will participate in the symposium and the Speed of Light Expedition. Each Graduate Fellow will receive one week of full room and board at École polytechnique, Paris, from September 9-13, 2019. All lab fees and material expenses are also covered under the Fellowship. We are pleased to see that the fellows are from a wide range of disciplines, including the arts, humanities, sciences, and engineering. 

Peter Hoffman
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, USA

Considering the failures and limits of the documentary photograph in translating climate change narratives, Peter Gabriel Hoffman is informed by environmental communication theories and eco-critical texts that emphasize the necessity of collapsing the human/nature binary way of thinking. He is interested in how creating new representations of landscape and ecological systems may play a role in perpetuating this dialogue. He holds MFA in Studio Art from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MA in Documentary Photography from Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication. Hoffman lives in Durham, North Carolina with his wife Liz.

Alumna Sydney Steen named NCAC Creative Economies Coordinator

August 12, 2019

Sydney Steen was named Creative Economies Coordinator of the N.C. Arts Council on May 1. She previously served as the Arts in Communities Coordinator for the agency, and while she will continue to provide support to Grassroots Arts partners, her duties are being expanded to include the N.C. Arts Council’s public art and SmART communities program. Sydney will oversee the state’s public art collection and manage the artist selection process for all the SmART communities in N.C. She will also work with each SmART partner to track the economic impact of the SmART program across the state. Sydney received her Master’s in Fine Art in painting and sculpture from UNC-Chapel Hill.

MFA Alumna Maria Britton Solo Show at My Room

July 17, 2019
Soft Storage, solo show of work by MFA 2007 Maria Britton, at My Room, Attic 506 in Chapel Hill through August
Soft Storage

Working free from square painting supports and utilizing bed sheets as her primary surface, Britton makes work that spans painting, sculpture, and textiles. With the works included in Soft Storage, Britton ruminates on the strength and vitality found in emotionally complex and ephemeral qualities typically associated with the feminine. Britton’s works are influenced by clothing construction, bodily orifices, curtains, windows, sails, and portals. Understanding the functional language of fabric allows Britton to utilize its strength and flexibility. Fabric’s grid becomes a guiding compass of sorts.

My work explores notions of femininity and feminism, high and low forms of art making, and dreams and disasters. Using combinations of painting and sewing, I modify and disrupt the familiar floral surfaces of used patterned bed sheets, which I have been incorporating into my work for over decade. The surface of a bed is a place where one both experiences and escapes reality, a gateway between two realms. Dated patterns act as windows for peering into specific times and places from the past. Like skin, fabric retains a physical memory of experiences; it wrinkles from habitual behaviors and environmental conditions. Over time memories change by expanding, fading, transforming, or disappearing.

I work impulsively and intuitively, responding to the patterns and colors before me while also referencing fragmented floral imagery that I either remember or imagine. To define gestural forms, I use bias tape or paint to delineate the break between positive and negative space. Flowers and cyclical elements from nature, especially decay, inform how I work. The fragile quality of wilted and dried flowers is something that I often attempt to replicate.

PhD Candidate Jennifer Wu awarded grant to attend Summer Institute for Technical Studies in Art (SITSA) at Harvard Art Museums

July 17, 2019

Congratulations to PhD Candidate Jennifer Wu, who was awarded a grant to attend the Summer Institute for Technical Studies in Art (SITSA) at the Harvard Art Museums. Along with a cohort of doctoral students in art history, she received object-based training on conservation and technical analyses as well as hands-on experiences with various artistic materials and techniques. The two-week program emphasized interdisciplinary collaboration with conservators, curators, scientists, artists, and art historians in discussions on art-technical history.

Alumna Vanessa Murray Solo Exhibition at Golden Belt Durham

July 2, 2019

Night Swim
Vanessa Murray (MFA 2017)

The Durham Art Guild
June 26 – July 24th
Golden Belt Campus
800 Taylor St. Durham

3rd Friday Reception:
July 19th, 6-9 pm
Artist Talk at 6:30

Night swim explores the psychological vulnerability that is felt when we place our self under the dark sky and in the presence of the unknown. Both paintings and sculptures explore a quiet push and pull between exposure and concealment, concave and convex, darkness and light.

Morrison Art Studio Opening a Success!

October 17, 2018

Fulfilling Chancellor Folt’s expansive vision for the arts, and in partnership with our wonderful colleagues in Arts Everywhere and Carolina Housing, we hatched our pilot “intramural” arts studio last week. Thank you so much for the various ways you have supported the Morrison Art Studio so far. We have heard incredible excitement from the UNC community regarding the 24/7 access and the no-cost supplies, and only anticipate those numbers to continue growing.

Over the course of the past week alone, we:

  • welcomed nearly 500 unique students and campus community members to the studio for a visit;
  • signed up nearly 350 unique students and campus community members to our studio listserv;
  • led 14 group orientation sessions;
  • trained and provided 24/7 access through Housing to 160 students and campus community members!!
  • and we are busy planning more sessions and gatherings to continue to bring this opportunity to more and more students and campus community members.

Approximately half of those who have been oriented live in Morrison dorm, with additional usage by students living in most South Campus dorms.

Thanks again to Assistant Professor Lien Truong and Department Chair Carol Magee in Art and Art History, to Allan Blattner and his entire team in Carolina Housing, and to UNC facilities for their leadership, efforts, and enthusiasm. The Morrison Art Studio is the perfect example of strategic partnership at work.

Please feel free to stop by.  We are continuing the studio’s “open door” policy over the next week.  The studio will be during the staffed hours below either by our Artist-in-Residence, first-year MFA studio art student Natalie Strait or two work-study students hired by the Art and Art History department who will be serving as Assistant Studio Managers. Their names are Eden Teichman and Meghan Mcguire, sophomore and first-year students respectively who are already doing a wonderful job of giving orientations and learning the ropes of studio management!

Monday 4 – 9 pm

Tuesday 5:30 – 10 pm

Wednesday 5:30 – 10 pm

Thursday 5:30 – 10 pm

Huge thanks to Haley Smyser who singlehandedly managed the launch event with grace and skill!