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Studio update from MFA alum MJ Sharp

December 1, 2022

Greetings! I was away in the UK last year on a Fulbright Scholar Award — Our Disappearing Darkness and Recreating Prehistoric Night — and am continuing to work on it now that I’m back in the U.S. I will be using the night images I created last winter in Cornwall of prehistoric megaliths as part of an art installation piece to evoke a bodily experience of darkness as counterpoint to the ubiquitous light pollution we experience at night now, with its deleterious effects on body, mind, and soul.

I’m presently collecting people’s stories of night and/or darkness to incorporate into the piece. And for that, I’d love to hear from you! It could be just a feeling you once had in the dark, or it could be a podcast’s worth of story. No experience is too small or too big! I look forward to hearing whatever you have to tell me about your experiences of night (or darkness–several people have mentioned cave experiences to me). We can do it in person if you’re in central North Carolina, or we can do it virtually. Just reply to this email, and we can set up a time ❤️. Or if you’re an online calendar buff, I’ve just created a “Let’s Talk Darkness!” Calendly sign-up calendar for Thursday, Dec 8th—Tuesday, Dec 13th as a test to see if that format is useful to people.

In other news, the tomato “holiday” cards are back!  The Studio Store, after a year’s hiatus, is back with the End of Season Tomatoes card as well as many others. Details and ordering are at mjsharp.bigcartel.com. Before the end of the year, I will likely be adding a few vintage prints from my studio flat files as well as some artist proofs of recent images to the store. I tend to send those updates via my Instagram account if that’s something you do.

With warm regards and best holiday wishes, MJ

Our Disappearing Darkness 2021/2022 Fulbright Project
MJ Sharp | MJCornwall@mjsharp.com | www.mjsharp.com |Studio Store

Video classes pop-up exhibition at Lump Gallery

November 10, 2022

GOLF
Lump Gallery
Friday, Nov 18, 6-9pm

Through video and audio installation, GOLF explores the relationship between privatized space and loss in all its forms. In this one-day pop-up exhibition and live sound performance at Lump Gallery, we examine the history and culture of golf in marking boundaries of class, race, and gender through its practice of exclusivity and hetero-patriarchy. GOLF immerses the viewer in the past, present, and future of ecological disaster.

The one-day pop-up exhibition is part of a larger exhibition project by Bill Thelen, called Love Letter, in which he invited different artists to take over the space for one-day events throughout Nov and Dec.  

Artists: Sadie Allen, Nicole Blevins, Maxwell Bryn, Brooklyn De Shazo-Griffin, Noah Gulledge, Sergia Jimenez, Bailey Johnson, Taylor Knoll, Lilian Manning, Payton Mills, Hope Mutter, Gustavo Rios, Nina Sehgal, Taika Sorjonen, Mirai Thorbjornsen, Bronwyn White

Artists are students at UNC Chapel-Hill in Hong-An Truong’s Intermediate/Advanced Video courses

Story about MFA candidate Matthew Troyer on UNC front page today

November 10, 2022

As part of their Veterans’ Day focus on student veterans at Carolina, UNC Communications produced this video profile of MFA candidate Matthew Troyer. Matthew is channeling his experience in the Marine Corps to create photography that shares the military experience with the civilian population and fellow veterans.

Artist talk with faculty member Sabine Gruffat at Davidson October 25

October 14, 2022

October 25, 4:30-5:30 pm, Visual Arts Center, 117 Semans Lecture Hall, Davidson College

Sabine Gruffat is a digital media artist and award-winning filmmaker. Her creative work includes experimental video and animation, media-enhanced performance, participatory public art, and immersive installation.

Sabine’s films and videos have screened at festivals worldwide including the Image Forum Festival in Japan, The Ann Arbor Film Festival and Migrating Forms in New York. Her feature essay films I Have Always Been A Dreamer and Speculation Nation have screened internationally including at the Viennale, MoMA, Cinéma du Réel at the Centre Pompidou, and The Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival.

She has also produced art for public spaces as well as interactive installations that have been shown at the Zolla Lieberman Gallery in Chicago, Art In General, Devotion Gallery, PS1 Contemporary Art Museum, and Hudson Franklin in New York.

She teaches film and animation at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Co-sponsored by Davidson College’s Departments of Art and English and Davidson Arts and Creative Engagement

Position Search: Department Chair and Edna J. Koury Distinguished Professor

October 7, 2022

The College of Arts & Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill invites applications for Department Chair and Edna J. Koury Distinguished Professor in the Department of Art & Art History, which is comprised of diverse faculty representing a range of fields, media, and methodologies. The start date will be July 1, 2023. We welcome candidates in any discipline of art history, studio art practice, or related fields with the credentials to be appointed at the rank of full professor with tenure. Candidates will be asked to articulate an innovative vision for the future of the department that values forward thinking, critical inquiry, creativity, diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are seeking candidates who have an outstanding record of research and/or artistic achievement, teaching, and service, as well as experience as a dynamic, consultative leader and administrator. The chair supports departmental faculty and staff in their academic, research, and service activities, and facilitates student recruitment, budget administration, and personnel management. We seek applicants committed to diversity and inclusion in higher education, including but not limited to recruiting and retaining diverse faculty, staff, and students. Charged with building these important relationships, the chair will work with a wide range of constituencies. The term of the chair will be four years, with the possibility for a second term, after which the chair will continue to serve on the faculty as a Full Professor. We welcome applications from individuals who may have had non-traditional career paths or who have achieved excellence outside of academia.

We welcome candidates in any discipline of art history, studio art practice, or related fields with the credentials to be appointed at the rank of full professor with tenure. Candidates will be asked to articulate an innovative vision for the future of the department that values forward thinking, critical inquiry, creativity, diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are seeking candidates who have an outstanding record of research and/or artistic achievement, teaching, and service, as well as experience as a dynamic, consultative leader and administrator.

Job Posting Application Information

Faculty members Hong-An Truong and Lien Truong part of group show in New York

September 30, 2022

Congratulations to Hồng-Ân and Lien on the opening of their group show Circular Ruins at island in NYC.

Rubber Factory begins a new chapter as island | gallery inaugural exhibition: Circular Ruinsreception on September 30 from 6 to 8 pm

Open through October 30

Hồng-Ân Trương, Tammy Nguyen, Ragini Bhow, Lien Truong, Mo Kong, Pacifico Silano, Myeongsoo Kim, Ben Tong, Jia Sung, Alex Callender, Sonia Louise Davis, Tess Bilhartz, Y. M. Kwok, Ang Xia Yi, Raya Terran.  
island is pleased to present our inaugural show at our new location at 83 Bowery titled, circular ruins. The exhibition marks the end of our time as “Rubber Factory” and the start of a new chapter as “island”.The show draws its title from a Borges fiction where a protagonist washes up on the ruins of a temple and struggles with the act of creation itself. circular ruins examines the many intentions and conceptual frameworks that charge our new identity as “island”.Islands are defined by their unique geology of discrete land masses separate from mainlands while often having perimeters that are variably submerged. They also form a membrane of nodes across the planet, with more than 900,000 islands serving as frontier lands that are extremely sensitive to change. While many also serve as ahistorical territories which are silent witnesses to historical traumas perpetrated elsewhere and these islands are potential sites for remembrance and regeneration.Artists in circular ruins are engaged in acts of world-building, creating their own languages indexed to their lived experiences. From Ragini Bhow’s abstract vessel-like sculpture to Ben Tong’s pulsing repetitive forms made using a percussive device or Ang Xia Yi’s intimate fabrics made from burnishing images onto vernacular textiles, the works are containers for new ways of knowing. They suggest a divergent path, not dissimilar to the way that the distinct ecologies of islands enable them to be producers of alternative cultures, techniques, and histories.Islands are often sites of colonial, imperialistic conquest, performing the role of flagpole for the extension of vast empires. Because they are on the edge of the world they mark the supple perimeters of power. Tammy Nguyen’s Freehold series in the exhibition about Forest City, a tax-free, man-made island in Johor Malaysia, located along the Singapore Strait deconstructs the fiction of this stabilized geographic realm, interrogating the contemporary urge to seek out new utopian models. While Lien Truong and Hong-An Truong’s “The Sky Is Not Sacred” explores the trauma of Western ideology’s impact on the Vietnamese landscape unpacking the scarring effect on collective psyche and land alike.circular ruins also proposes the island as refuge, as hidden topography, and as porous land where communities can form generative bonds. Pacifico Silano reenacts the history of gay bars as a place of refuge, pleasure, and community. By creating a series of neon works miming the bar signage of these LGBTQ islands that are now shuttered Pacifico memorializes these sites as places for resistant ecosystems to congregate. While Mo Kong’s works from their Swift Island Chain: Letter to Home series locates the diasporic compulsion to seek out new environments and the dissonance that follows.
83 Bowery 2nd Floor