Skip to main content

In Memoriam: Emeritus Professor of Studio Art Dennis Zaborowski

April 18, 2022

Dennis Zaborowski, artist and retired UNC at Chapel Hill Department of Art and Art History professor, passed away on April 9th. He was 79 years old.

Professor Zaborowski was born in 1943 in Cleveland, Ohio and grew up in Garfield Heights with his mother, Stephanie, father, Michael, and brother, Michael. He attended St. Stanislaus High School in the Slavic Village neighborhood of Cleveland. He was a Boy Scout in his youth where he cultivated an appreciation for nature.

From 1961 to 1965, Professor Zaborowski was a student at the Cleveland Institute of Art. He then attended Yale University starting in 1965, earning his BFA and MFA in 1968. In the fall of 1968, he began his tenure as a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill until retiring in 2015. His courses included life drawing, painting, and design.

During Professor Zaborowski’s career as an artist and painter, his work was shown nationally and internationally. Notable solo shows include the Mint Museum of American Art in Charlotte, the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, Duke and Davidson Universities, and the West Broadway Gallery in New York City. His work is included in several permanent collections, including the Mint Museum and North Carolina Museum of Art. He received two National Endowment for the Arts grants during his lifetime.

He continued to engage in painting up until the end of his life, painting in his home and with other local artists.

He is survived by his two children, Daphne and Conrad and his brother, Michael (Barbara) Zabor. He will be fondly remembered for his creative spirit, kindness, and inimitable sense of humor.

A memorial service will be held at The Chapel of the Cross in the historic chapel on April 21st at 1 p.m. The service will be followed by a reception in the Parish Hall. Dress will be casual and colorful clothing is welcome.

Obituary originally published in the News and Observer, April 17, 2022

Visiting faculty and alumni featured in upcoming OCAC show Home?

March 24, 2022

Visiting faculty member Renzo Ortega, MFA alumni Allison Tierney and Jonh Blanco, and friend-of-the-department Bob Goldstein are all featured in this upcoming group show from the Orange County Arts Commission.


The Orange County Arts Commission, in partnership with the Orange County Department of Housing and Community Development present HOME? An Artistic Exploration of Housing in the Triangle, which seeks to showcase “home” through the eyes and words of working artists.

The exhibit features 100 works of art by 54 Triangle-based artists and will be on view through April, 2022 at the Eno Mill Gallery in Hillsborough. 

The public is invited to a free Opening Party on Friday, April 1, from 6-9pm featuring:

About the Exhibit

In the Triangle, artists are considered to be fundamental to the quality of life and unique character of our communities, but they are one of the most impacted groups of rising costs of living, especially housing. To highlight this issue, the Orange County Arts Commission and Orange County Department of Housing and Community Development asked visual and literary artists living in Orange, Durham, Wake, and Chatham counties to respond to the following questions through visual and written works:

  • What does the idea or experience of “home” mean to you?
  • What has your experience of “home” been as an artist and person living in the Triangle?
  • Is “home” a place of comfort, safety, and warmth, or something else?
  • Is “home” positive, negative, or something in between?

Sixty-four visual artists submitted 148 works of art; 26 writers submitted 52 written works. Submissions were juried by panels of visual and literary artists. Works by 54 visual artists were selected for the exhibit and 16 writers were selected to read their submissions aloud during the opening event on Friday, April 1. 

Twenty percent of proceeds from work sold will be used to create an Emergency Housing Fund for artists in partnership with the Department of Housing.

Cosmic Rays Online Exhibition: The Flowers I Have Never Seen In My Garden

March 22, 2022

  THE FLOWERS I HAVE NEVER SEEN IN MY GARDEN  

March 24, 2022- 7pm CET/1pm EST
On Mozilla Hubs  

Chris Golden, Mohsen Hazrati, Lauren Moffatt, Sabrina Ratté 

Opening:March 24, 2022- 7pm CET/1pm EST
Exhibition:
March 24, 2022 – June 23, 2022
Private Tour: email to register, +49 176 325 10217
Online venue: https://hubs.mozilla.com/vA8xeJa/(activated on March 24th)

______________________________________________________________________________________________ 

The flowers I have never seen in my garden is a digital exhibition featuring works by Chris Golden, Sabrina Ratté, Mohsen Hazrati, and Lauren Moffatt. Constructed in the free-floating space of Mozilla Hubs, the works on view utilize this programmable backdrop to examine how gardens might appear in the wake of ecological and social cataclysms.  

These flowers, the works on view, are not invisible, so much as hypothetical, speculative. Each work contributed, each virtual garden plot, extends into all the others, creating a network of virtual pathways that unfold sequentially, like the illustrations of an idea that is carefully trying to prove itself.  

The exhibition doesn’t claim to be an online gallery space, or even a 3-dimensional archive, but acts more like a herbarium populated with anthropomorphized flora. A kind of new world is invoked where mechanism and finality mingle, not in the manner of a futuristic cyborg, but in a way where human history and natural history as we know them overgrow into a parallel reality that shares the same concerns as ours. Questions of ecological preservation, identity and its relationship to memory, and the threat of mass extinction are duly addressed. Only here, the familiar solutions offered by our world are placed in parentheses.  

Chris Golden’s Aura Garden, for example, treats of memory—only here memory is invaded by a sort of aural shimmer that translates the dynamics of floral growth into a psychedelic reflection of the calmness in nature. Through a mingling of visuality and sound, the viewer is confronted by the notion that “moments,” even at their most epiphanic, are nothing more than contingent human constructs. 

Sabrina Ratté’s Floralia offers a speculative natural history through a graduated and precise process of segmentation and reconstruction. Simulating the fusion of technology and organic matter, the work plunges the viewer into a speculative future, where samples of extinct plant species are preserved and displayed in a virtual archive room. Through editing and visual strategies, this archive room is sporadically transformed under the effect of interference caused by the memory emanating from the listed plants, revealing traces of the past that continue to haunt the present.  

Mohsen Hazrati, the architect of this Hubs environment, uses the utopian space of the virtual to revisit the history of technology. Taking the ancient Iranian innovation of using wine and other stringents (lemons, vinegar) to generate small volts of electricity, Hazrati has realized a 3D recreation of this pioneering ancient technology. The fruits that spark this device to life are wholly virtual, but have a practical, effective existence within an imaginarium modeled to look like a garden.  

Lauren Moffatt, for her contribution, plays off of the tension that obtains between augmented reality and virtual reality. Her Flowers for Suzanne Clair (named after a secondary character in J. G. Ballard’s disaster fiction novel The Crystal World) creates a strange type of organic digitality which pivots on a process of collecting and digitizing plant specimens through an exchange between the physical and the virtual. Fusing photographic details of flowers with aleatory textures, these fictive plant species are windows to alterity glimpsed through a prism of biological life.  

Staging, ultimately, is essential to what is happening throughout The flowers I have never seen in my garden. Looking at the the digital species the show models itself around, history itself becomes heavy with an unsettling inertia; and the concept of “nature” becomes mechanized to a point where we can almost peer past it, towards a sentient nothingness that defies the logic of temporal descriptors. 

The flowers I have never seen in my garden is curated and designed by George Vitale (synthesis gallery) and produced by Cosmic Rays. 

CHRIS GOLDEN (b. 1988, GBR, https://chrisgolden.art) is a digital artist exploring the energy and vibration of this world. His work focuses on synthesizing a meditative-psychedelic perspective through colour and form. Chris presents a spectrum of projects across physical and digital planes that shares a visual way of being. A reminder of our energy that resides within. 

MOHSEN HAZRATI (b. 1987, IRN, http://mohsenhazrati.com) focuses on digital culture and New Aesthetics, positioning connections to Shirazi culture and Iranian mystical literature. Recent exhibitions include UCL MAL, Los Angeles; Transfer Gallery, Los Angeles; Babycastles Gallery, New York; Telematic Media Arts, San Francisco and SUPERHIGHWAY 2020. He is currently a member of the Digital Art Fellowship program at Akademie Schloss Solitude.  

LAUREN MOFFATT (b. 1987, AUS, https://www.deptique.net/) is an Australian artist working with immersive environments and experimental narrative practices. Her works, often presented in hybrid and iterative forms, explore the paradoxical subjectivity of connected bodies and the indistinct boundaries between digital and organic life.  

SABRINA RATTÉ (b. 1982, CAN, http://sabrinaratte.com/) is an artist living between Montreal and Marseille. Her practice includes video, animation, installations, sculptures, audio-visual performances, prints and Virtual Reality. Mixing analog technologies, photography and 3D animation, she investigates the influence of digital and physical spaces and the interplay between these surroundings and subjectivity.  

COSMIC RAYS is an organization based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina that supports the promotion and diffusion of innovative film, video, and digital media art through public screenings, live performance, and gallery exhibition. 

synthesis gallery is an immersive blend of technology and art displayed under one roof, showcasing cutting-edge experiences by new wave artists and visionaries through virtual and augmented reality. Dedicated to exhibiting internationally renowned, well-established artists alongside emerging ones, since its inception, synthesis has garnered considerable attention in the art scene. 

The exhibition is kindly supported by: 

Cosmic Rays Film Festival Logo

Arts Everywhere Logo

National Endowment for the Arts (arts.gov) Logo

Join the discussion about the exhibition online at:  
Instagram: @cosmicraysfilmfestival; @synthesis.gallery 
Facebook: Cosmic Rayssynthesis gallery 
Website: cosmicraysfilmfest.comsynthesis.gallery 
Discord: https://discord.gg/WjWcqPQtrz  

Image credit: Sabrina Ratté, Floralia, 2021

New publication from PhD candidate Andrea Snow

March 21, 2022

PhD candidate Andrea C. Snow has published a new article in Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft. Titled “Distorted, Dismembered, Diffused: Rethinking the Body in Old Norse Material Culture,” it examines the strange and schematized bodies that populate Viking Age art.

Abstract:
From the late-eighth through the early-twelfth centuries, medieval Norse objects represented the human body in varying states of ambiguity. While the Latin West would establish conventions for representing figures that visibly asserted the emotive expressivity of the face and body to circumscribe the beholder’s expected emotional (and spiritual) comportment, the figures represented in medieval Norse art are lacking in physiognomic distinctions such as defined facial features or somatic expressions of emotion. If their anatomical configurations do not appear to convey behavioral codes, then what could they refer to? What cultural factors contributed to their distortion, and how were they read by their intended beholders? This article argues that such enigmatic bodies did not represent human anatomy as it appeared before the eye, but gestured to a broad, flexible, and supernatural corporeality that transgressed the divisions between divine, human, and animal of Latin Western art and thought.

You can read it online now via ProjectMUSE! (link for HTML-ing is here: https://muse.jhu.edu/issue/47556)

Borre-style disc brooch, Viking, 9th-10th c., found in Gotland, Sweden, now in the British Museum, London
Borre-style disc brooch, Viking, 9th-10th c., found in Gotland, Sweden, now in the British Museum, London

Cosmic Rays Film Festival adds local exhibition at Peel Gallery

February 8, 2022

EVERYWARE: COSMIC RAYS DIGITAL
March 1-April 2nd, 2022
Peel Gallery
708 West Rosemary Street 
Carrboro, NC 27510
https://www.peel.gallery
https://cosmicraysfilmfest.com
Opening Hours Wednesday – Sunday 12-5pm
Closing reception: Saturday April 2nd, 2022 6pm-8pm

Artists:
Bassam Al-Sabah
Joelle Dietrick and Owen Mundy
Matthew Gantt
Claudia Hart
Jason Isolini
Shasti O’Leary Soudant 
Elly Vadseth & Boris Kourtoukov 
Richard Michael Haley 
Kristin Lucas

Live Audiovisual Performances:
Brent Coughenour
Governance (Quran Karriem and Rebecca Uliasz)

EVERYWARE: COSMIC RAYS DIGITAL is a selection of Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and interactive artworks by national, international, and North Carolina-based artists who critically engage with the new media technologies that surround us while investigating digital forms of privacy, identity, and nature.

“The Triangle is a growing technology hub and our region’s cultural art offerings should reflect the impact of emerging media technologies.”
– Sabine Gruffat

COSMIC RAYS DIGITAL celebrates artists working with emerging digital media technologies. It is a brand-new programming initiative of the COSMIC RAYS FILM FESTIVAL which is co-directed by local artists and filmmakers Sabine Gruffat and Bill Brown, and will take place from March 31st – April 2nd, 2022.

For more information, please visit www.cosmicraysfilmfest.com.

Press Inquiries:
For more information please contact:
Bill Brown and Sabine Gruffat
contact@cosmicraysfilmfest.com