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Faculty Member Kathryn Desplanque and several alumni part of group exhibition at CAM Raleigh

November 6, 2023

Opening November 10, 2023 at CAM Raleigh, Neo-Psychedelia is co-curated by Art History Assistant Professor Kathryn Desplanque and MFA Alumnus Raj Bunnag, and includes the work of Desplanque, Alumni Jerstin Crosby, Chieko Murasugi, Charlie Dupee, and Triangle-based artists Tonya Solley-Thornton and Zach Storm. There will be an opening reception on November 10 from 5-9 pm and the show runs through March 2024.

New Publication from Alumnus Michael Bramwell

November 6, 2023

MFA alumnus Michael Bramwell, Joyce Linde Curator of Folk and Self-Taught Art at the MFA Boston, contributed scholarship to Unnamed Figures: Black Presence and Absence in the Early American North, the catalog accompanying an American Folk Art Museum exhibition that will be on view from November 15, 2023 to March 24, 2024. As a corrective to histories that define slavery and anti-Black racism as a largely Southern issue, this exhibition and catalog offer a new window onto Black representation in a region that is often overlooked in narratives of early African American history. The 300-page publication draws on years of research and archival work and contextualizes the exhibition as well as expanding upon its themes, including how Black representations may have been further marginalized or misconstrued by collectors of early American art and material culture.

Alumnus Patrick Dougherty to receive North Carolina Award on November 9

October 31, 2023

RALEIGH, N.C. — The state’s highest civilian honor, the North Carolina Award, will be presented to six distinguished North Carolinians Thursday, Nov. 9, at the North Carolina Museum of Art. Governor Roy Cooper will present the awards.

The award was created by the General Assembly in 1961 to recognize significant contributions to the state and nation in the fields of fine arts, literature, public service and science.

The 2023 honorees are Honorable David Price for Public Service, Honorable G.K. Butterfield for Public Service, Fred A. Whitfield for Public Service, Marsha White Warren for Literature, Patrick Dougherty for Fine Arts and Mandy K. Cohen, M.D., M.P.H., for Science.

“These individuals have contributed so much to our state and nation thanks to their remarkable careers and achievements,” said Reid Wilson, secretary of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. “Each of them has enhanced the lives of North Carolinians through their impressive accomplishments in public service, literature, science, and the arts.”

Since the award’s inception, more than 250 notable men and women have been honored by the state of North Carolina. Past recipients include Selma Burke, William Friday, James Taylor, Etta Baker, Charles Kuralt, Maya Angelou, Lee Smith and Branford Marsalis.

2023 Award Recipients:

Public Service: Honorable G.K. Butterfield
Born and raised in the heart of Wilson, N.C., G.K. Butterfield’s journey from a family rooted in service to a distinguished career in law, politics, and advocacy is a testament to his unwavering commitment to his community and the principles he holds dear. Butterfield completed high school in Wilson before earning both a bachelor’s degree and law degree from North Carolina Central University in Durham. In 1975, he founded a law practice in Wilson with partners Milton Fitch and Quentin Sumner. Butterfield was elected as Resident Superior Court judge in 1988 and later served briefly as Associate Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. In 2004, Butterfield was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives where he served until 2022. Throughout, he tirelessly represented the constituents of North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District. He served on the Energy and Commerce and House Administration committees, and chaired the Congressional Black Caucus from 2015-2017.

Science: Mandy K. Cohen, M.D., M.P.H.
Mandy K. Cohen is the director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. She is one of the nation’s top health leaders with experience leading large and complex organizations, and a proven track record protecting Americans’ health and safety. Cohen, an internal medicine physician, led the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services from 2017-21, where she was lauded for her outstanding leadership during the Covid crisis, focusing on equity, data accountability, and transparent communication. Prior to joining CDC, Cohen served as the executive vice president and CEO of Aledade Care Solutions, which helps independent primary care practices, health centers, and clinics deliver better care to their patients. Before joining NCDHHS, she served as chief operating officer and chief of staff of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and served as acting director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight.

Fine Arts: Patrick Dougherty
The internationally recognized sculptor Patrick Dougherty grew up in Southern Pines, North Carolina. After earning a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a master’s degree in Hospital and Health Administration from the University of Iowa, he returned to UNC to study art history and sculpture. Combining his carpentry skills with his love of nature, Dougherty experimented with primitive building techniques using tree saplings as construction material. In 1982 his first work, “Maple Body Wrap,” was included in the North Carolina Biennial Artists’ Exhibition, sponsored by the North Carolina Museum of Art. His 2009 sculpture, “Out of the Box,” is now on permanent display at the museum. Dougherty has received numerous awards, including the 2011 Factor Prize for Southern Art, North Carolina Artist Fellowship Award, Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, Henry Moore Foundation Fellowship, and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.

Public Service: Honorable David E. Price
David E. Price has dedicated his life to public service, education, and diplomacy. He represented North Carolina’s 4th District, the Research Triangle region, in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1987-94 and 1997-2022. He was a senior member of the Appropriations Committee and chaired the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies. He is a Polis Distinguished Fellow at the Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University, and a Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Duke. Price’s dedication to public service and diplomacy earned him numerous awards and recognitions, including the Hubert H. Humphrey Award, induction to the National Service Hall of Fame, and the Charles Dick Medal of Merit. He currently serves on the state board of community colleges. Price is the author of four books and numerous articles on American politics and institutions, political thought, ethics, and foreign affairs.

Literature: Marsha White Warren
A skilled poet and storyteller, Marsha White Warren has spent most of her career using her gifts in service to other writers, as a charter member and executive director of the North Carolina Writers Network, an officer in the North Carolina Poetry Society, and board member of Arts Advocates. Her extensive contributions to the arts and humanities have earned her numerous awards, including the Sam Ragan Award for Contributions to the Fine Arts in North Carolina and the R. Hunt Parker Memorial Award for Lifetime Contributions to Literature from the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association. In 1991 she took on the directorship of the Paul Green Foundation, which makes grants to assist theatres, playwrights and social justice organizations around the country to uphold the ideals of the playwright and novelist Paul Green.

Public Service: Fred A. Whitfield
Fred A. Whitfield has built a distinguished sports executive career encompassing roles as a player, coach, agent, sports marketer, and basketball operations administrator. Since 2018, Whitfield has been president and vice chairman of Hornets Sports & Entertainment, after serving as president and chief operating officer since his arrival at what was then Bobcats Sports & Entertainment in July 2006. In this leadership position, Whitfield has overseen all business operations for the organization. His responsibilities also extend to managing Spectrum Center, the downtown Charlotte arena that has changed greatly under his guidance. Previously, he managed endorsements and sports marketing strategy at the Jordan Brand as director of Business and Legal Affairs. Whitfield founded HoopTee Charities, Inc., a North Carolina-based nonprofit providing scholarships for disadvantaged youth to attend camps and educational programs nationwide. He also established the Achievements Unlimited Basketball School, benefiting over 15,000 kids in Greensboro and Charlotte over the last 38 years.

The 2023 awards will be presented Thursday, Nov. 9 at the North Carolina Museum of Art. This event is sponsored by Wells Fargo, Martin Marietta, Duke Energy, RTI, O’Reilly Auto Parts, ACN, Inc., CBC/WRAL Community Fund of the Triangle Community Foundation, Dr. William Roper, the Charlotte Hornets, the National Basketball Association, and Lenovo.

Alumnus Mark Brandvik Public Sculpture Dedication in Overton, Nevada

October 30, 2023

Earth Rise
Moapa Valley Community Center, Overton, Nevada

Dedication Wednesday, November 1, 2023, 5-7 pm

Earth Rise is a work conceived in part as a gateway to Michael Heizer’s Double Negative, a massive earthwork sculpture located on Mormon Mesa
approximately 8 miles northeast of this location. Inspired by that work’s initial creation and ongoing weathering, the composition of steel forms echoes the rising explosive forces associated with large-scale excavation as well as the collapsing dynamics or erosion. Landforms and archaeology found in the nearby landscape are recalled, and Space Age imagery from the same era of large earthwork creation evokes a distinctly American spirit of discovery. Subtle glyphs carved into the weathered steel forms honor the Moapa Valley community that helped build Double Negative and has hosted art travelers from around the world for over 50 years.

Mark Brandvik, born in Las Vegas, Nevada, received a BFA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His work has been featured in various exhibitions and projects throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, and can be found in private, public, and corporate collections. The recipient of many grants, commissions, and residencies, he has been recognized for his painting and sculpture. In addition to his art practice, Mark Brandvik has taught studio art since 1997 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the College of Southern Nevada. The artist lives and maintains a studio in downtown Las Vegas.

For more information about Mark visit:

Faculty Member Lien Truong in Group Fiber Exhibition at SECCA

October 16, 2023

Group Fiber Exhibition The Threads We Follow Opens at SECCA November 16

Next Generation of Fiber Artists Brings New Perspectives to Traditional Forms

(Winston-Salem, NC) – The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) is proud to present The Threads We Follow, a group exhibition of fiber-based works by leading global artists, on view November 16, 2023 through March 10, 2024 in SECCA’s Main Gallery. An opening reception with the artists and curator Maya Brooks will be held Thursday, November 16 from 5 to 8pm, with remarks at 6pm and an opportunity for visitors to meet the artists at 6:30pm. Admission is free and open to the public.

Over several centuries, artists and craftspeople have used fiber to challenge identity-based oppression throughout various global cultures. Many of these artists specifically contemplate the historic devaluation of textiles based upon their association with domestic labor and craft making, where women and communities of color have long interpreted social politics.

The Threads We Follow acknowledges the foundations of fiber arts rooted in explicit gender and cultural expression while demonstrating contemporary understandings of the malleability of identity. The artists throughout this show experiment with structure and form to translate their experiences to materials like thread, fabric, and even hair, creating nontraditional designs including busts, sculptures, and suspended pieces. Ultimately, each of these artists emphasizes the exploratory nature of fiber arts that has continuously allowed space for community-focused experimentation and reflection.

The Threads We Follow includes works by Aliyah Bonnette, Amalia Galdona Broche, Ambrose Rhapsody Murray, April Bey, Basil Kincaid, Cynthia Alberto, Ebony G. Patterson, John Paul Morabito, Lakea Shepard, Lien Truong, and Pia Camil.

“When I think about fiber and its historic devaluation as a ‘fine art’ tool, I wanted to create an exhibition that showcased contemporary artists’ innovations of the medium,” said curator Maya Brooks. “Fiber is having a moment, where artists connect their personal histories with social commentaries. So, I see this exhibition as an expression of recognizing that moment, especially as I’ve carried this love with me for most of my life and now career.”

Learn more about the exhibition and upcoming programs at

MFA Candidate Mark Brown Jr in group exhibition as part of the Click! Photo Festival

October 2, 2023

Come see Mark’s work at It Ain’t All Black and White, at the Block Gallery, Raleigh, from October 4, 2023 to February 23, 2024.

It Ain’t All Black and White is a photography exhibition curated by North Carolina-based photographer Leticia Clementina that encourages viewers to consider emotions such as serenity, apprehension, yearning, and more. Captured by 10 dynamic photographers dedicated to documenting the fullness and complexity of Black life, this exhibition offers each of us an opportunity to see ourselves with renewed attention. 

Gallery Hours & Location

  • Date: October 4, 2023, through February 23, 2024​​​​​​
  • Time: Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Closed Saturday and Sunday and for City Holidays.
  • Parking: Visitors can park in the Municipal Complex Parking Deck at 201 W Morgan St. Raleigh, NC 27601
  • Where: Block Gallery, 222 W. Hargett St. (inside Raleigh Municipal Building)
  • Cost: Free and open to the public

Artist Reception | October 25, 5:30-7 p.m.

Join us for an artist reception celebrating the It Ain’t All Black and White exhibition and artists on October 25, 5:30-7 p.m. 

MFA Alumnus Raj Bunnag Site-Specific Mural on view at SECCA

September 20, 2023

If These Walls Could Talk Brings Site-Specific Murals to SECCA

Join us this Thursday, September 21 from 5–8pm as SECCA’s Potter Gallery comes to life with If These Walls Could Talk, an exhibition of site-specific mural installations by William Downs, Neka King, and Raj Bunnag, on view September 21 through December 31 in SECCA’s Potter Gallery. The opening reception is free and open to the public, with remarks at 6:45pm and a Q&A with the artists and curator Maya Brooks at 7pm.

For centuries, murals served as visual representations of complex social and political commentary in accessible spaces. Creatives placed their work on public structures, in civic centers, among other prominent areas, to communicate relevant critiques of everyday life. This documentation of contemporary issues connected individual experiences across race, gender, and religion, providing a tangible record of shared existence.

If These Walls Could Talk upholds the relationship between mural art and public institutions with site-specific works by Durham, NC–based artist Raj Bunnag and Atlanta, GA–based artists William Downs and Neka King. Each of these artists engages graphic techniques that range from line drawing to printmaking, paralleling traditional mural applications that require affixing materials directly onto a wall. Ultimately, their stylized depictions of people and landscapes envelop viewers in an illustrative social analysis of present and sometimes future concepts.

If These Walls Could Talk also marks the Winston-Salem curatorial debut of Maya Brooks, the assistant curator of contemporary art serving both SECCA and the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh. “I am most excited about this exhibition because it builds upon a long-standing human tradition of sharing ideas and building communities through public expression,” said Brooks. “Although distinctly contemporary in style and focus, this exhibition feels timeless because of the artists’ ability to reference the different layers of history that have altered our present and, possibly, our future experiences.”

Welcome to New Department Chair Annette Lawrence, Edna J. Koury Distinguished Professor of Studio Art

August 21, 2023

Annette Lawrence

The department of art and art history is pleased to welcome Annette Lawrence as its new chair and the Edna J. Koury Distinguished Professor of Studio Art. Professor Lawrence comes to UNC-Chapel Hill from the College of Visual Arts and Design at the University of North Texas (UNT), and brings with her a great deal of experience and many accomplishments as an artist, teacher, and administrator.

As an artist, Professor Lawrence creates complex, visually striking paintings, drawings, and installations that thoughtfully engage with her environment and events taking place around her. Her artistic practice and leadership share a commitment to, in her words, “rigorously consider what counts, how it is counted, and who is counting. This process of questioning and analyzing also informs my approach to leadership. I’m committed to facilitating the experience of making and unmaking, looking and waiting, and finding or recognizing what is in front of us by paying attention.” Over 24 years at UNT, Professor Lawrence became a trusted leader among her peers, culminating in serving as chair of the Department of Studio Art for four years. As a voice for the department within the college and the university, she successfully advocated for enhanced facilities and staffing, among other accomplishments.

In her teaching, Professor Lawrence is committed to facilitating students’ explorations of their own sensibilities and guiding them to develop the skills they need to achieve their visions. She earned her BFA in sculpture from the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford, and her MFA in painting from Maryland Institute College of Art.

Professor Lawrence’s work has been widely exhibited, including in solo shows at the Dallas Museum of Art, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and group exhibitions at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, as well as in the Whitney Biennial. She received a MacDowell Fellowship in 2018, and has been honored with residencies at Skowhegan, the Core Residency Program, and the Bag Factory in Johannesburg, among other honors.

Professor Lawrence’s arrival at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a homecoming of sorts, as she has deep familial connections with the state. Her maternal grandparents were from North Carolina, and moved to Queens, New York, during the Great Migration of the 1930s. Professor Lawrence was born there, and spent summers as a child visiting aunts, uncles, and cousins in Oxford, Mt. Olive, Dudley, and Raleigh, North Carolina—places where some of her relatives still live today. She looks forward to building new connections and community far beyond the department of art and art history and the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.