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New Mural by alumna Livian Kennedy in Fetzer Hall

April 7, 2021
A new partnership between Arts Everywhere and UNC EXSS UNITE! brought a new mural to Fetzer Hall to encourage people to take the stairs. It’s alumna Livian Kennedy’s first solo mural creation, which features silhouetted athletes along a colorful gradient in one of the building’s staircases.
One silhouette, positioned on a landing about halfway up the stairwell, features a runner that functions as an extra boost of encouragement. “If you’re going up the staircase, you are right beside her,” Kennedy said. “It’s just this explosive, really energetic, inspiring position that pushes you to keep going.”
Read more about it here:
Detail of a mural by alumna Livian Kennedy in the stairwell of Fetzer Hall, depicting a silhouette of a running woman

Recently graduated art student Daniel Petrucci apprenticing in pottery in South Korea

March 29, 2021

Daniel Petrucci, who graduated last year with a political science major and a studio art minor, is in South Korea studying with an eighth-generation potter and Junior National Treasure, Young Sik Kim. He was connected to this opportunity by ceramics professor Nam Yun-Dong. Daniel is spending his time in Korea as an apprentice in Young Sik Kim’s studio and personal museum in the Southern region of South Korea. Daniel focused his studies at UNC-Chapel Hill on Italian majolica ceramics. He was recently on a show broadcasted by South Korean local broadcasting company, MBC (posted below, in Korean). He is receiving a free private room and meal with a $1,500 allowance a month from the cultural division of the government. He plans to be there for 2 years.

Alumnus Jon Rollins exhibition at Horace Williams House

February 24, 2021

Now, Where Were We?
Jon Rollins
March 14th – June 6th 2021

Preservation Chapel Hill at the Horace Williams House is proud to present Now, Where Were We?, a solo exhibition by Jon Rollins, on view from March 14th to June 6th, 2021.

Jon’s latest work uses scrap materials left over from years of artmaking. His practice is anchored by materials. They serve as both a starting point and a form of resistance to generate ideas, decision, and action. The beginning of a work is guided by a question about a material: “What is this and how can it surprise me?” This desire to challenge his own expectations leads him to combine artmaking media with nontraditional materials, including house paint, tape, found paper, or anything scavenged from the studio. As a work progresses, he shifts from free exploration of the materials to a more methodical, editorial mode, seeking intention and structure. He continues in these cycles of intuition and elaboration, addition and erasure, until the work reaches that state of surprise: confused, but clear; sometimes obvious, but always unexpected.

Jon Rollins (b. 1991) is an artist based in High Point, North Carolina. He received his BFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2013. Jon’s most recent solo show was at COHAB.Gallery in High Point (2020). His work has been exhibited in Madrid, Basel, Miami, New York, and throughout North Carolina. 

The exhibition is open by appointment only. To make a viewing appointment, please contact Will Thomas at . A video walkthrough of the exhibition and price list will be available on March 14th at . To learn more about Jon’s work, please visit or his social pages @jon_rollins.

Image: Card (may be kept until needed), enamel, acrylic, silkscreen ink, pastel, crayon, marker, pencil, newsprint, paperboard, sketchbook paper,
game card, and notecard on canvas, 10 x 10 in, 2020

MFA Alumna Joy Meyer interviewed in Voyage LA Magazine

January 8, 2021

joy tirade is the artist name of Joy Meyer. She holds an MFA from UNC, Chapel Hill. Previously, she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from University of Virginia with a BA in Studio + Art History. She has exhibited internationally in British Columbia, Norway, Lithuania, and South Korea. Nationally she has  shared work at The Mint Museum, The Ackland Museum, CAM, Masur Museum, the Carrack, LUMP, Fluorescent Gallery, Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center, Red Ink Studios, and LACDA. She lives and works in Oakland, California where she facilitates a community painting collective |

Studio update from MFA alum MJ Sharp, January 2021

January 4, 2021

Greetings! Along with best wishes for 2021, I wanted to send along a few quick updates.

1) The wonderful lecture by Michele Frederick about curating the Reflections on Light show on view now (and also virtually) at the North Carolina Museum of Art is available on the museum’s youtube channel. She gives a great behind-the-scenes look at how the museum came to produce this particular show but also how museums produce shows more generally.

2) The Studio Store is newly updated and at the moment is a bit of a memory lane of images. With few exceptions, these images have not been out in the world, and they are not part of any previous editioned set of prints. As I’ve been reorganizing the studio, my flat files have been yielding many different types of prints from a wide range of eras.  I’m enjoying rediscovering these prints as I prepare to convert my studio to a giant darkroom (some 5×7 and 8×10 black and white negatives I want to play with).  I’ll probably have another round of prints to list before everything goes dark for a while starting around January 18th, which not coincidentally, is when our spring semester begins at Duke 😀.

Again, best wishes for 2021—


MJ Sharp | | Reflections on Light: Works from the NCMA Collection

PhD Graduate Katherine Calvin receives Dean’s Distinguished Dissertation Award

December 14, 2020
Congratulations to Katherine Calvin, Ph.D. ’20, who has received the UNC-Chapel Hill Dean’s Distinguished Dissertation Award in the area of Humanities and Fine Arts for her dissertation “Antiquity and Empire: The Construction of History in Western European Representations of the Ottoman Empire, 1650-1830.  
In addition, the Graduate School is nominating the dissertation as UNC’s candidate for the Council of Graduate Schools’ national distinguished dissertation award in the Humanities. We are very proud of Katherine’s many achievements, which also include starting a tenure-track position at Kenyon College, and are also grateful to her advisor, Christopher Johns of Vanderbilt University, who stepped in to supervise the dissertation after Mary Sheriff’s passing. 

BFA Alumna Ayla Gizlice exhibition at Anchorlight

December 14, 2020

Brightwork Series presents: Çukurova Plain by Ayla Gizlice

Thursday, November 5 – Sunday, December 20

Ayla Gizlice is a Turkish-American artist born in Raleigh. Çukurova Plain examines presentations of Osmaniye, her father’s hometown, in her own American one. The work serves as an introduction to this space apart from the tension that is electrified by current events and media portrayals. The space has been set aside as a respite from this tension, using humor and reflection to subvert the stereotypical American narrative of Middle Eastern life and landscape.

Viewing by appointment only.

Studio update from MFA alum MJ Sharp, November 2020

November 30, 2020

Greetings! I know it’s been a while. I’ve succumbed to the lure of updating folks via twitter and instagram (those tempting links are at the very bottom), but here is some recent news all in one place and only slightly longer than a short novella.

Firstly I’m tickled that Outside Amarillo is on view now as part of Reflections on Light at the North Carolina Museum of Art.  Through February 14th, 2021. The museum is allowing timed entry Wed-Sun with masks and distancing.  More information about visiting safely is on their website.

Reflections on Light: Works from the NCMA Collection: Featuring objects from 16 countries and spanning more than 2,500 years of art history, Reflections on Light: Works from the NCMA Collection celebrates the diverse collections of the North Carolina Museum of Art. Bringing together artworks from different cultures, continents, and histories, Reflections on Light showcases how artists from many eras—from ancient Guatemala to 20th-century Ghana—responded to, used, and revered light.

In other news, I’ve followed my good friend and potter Matt Hallyburton ( into the world of having an online studio store presence.  A picture I made recently that screamed, “Make me into a holiday card!” meant that I had to really hustle to get the store ready to go in time.  It’s turned out to be real pleasure to configure the store, and it’s been a great excuse to pull together some personal favorites.  Give it a look, and if you are thinking you might write holiday cards this year for the first time in a decade, well, nothing says the holidays like a big box lid full of cherry tomatoes in various stages of ripeness.

I’m also excited about the very latest work I’ve been up to—this summer and fall I’ve been shooting with a panoramic view camera as well as 4×5, 5×7, and 8×10 formats.  Some of that work is at the link below (and with any luck, it’s a little bit mobile-friendly).  I enjoyed a slice of one of the new photos (Tomato Proscenium) as my phone lock screen so much that I made an actual little image file that you’re welcome to right-click and download to use as your phone wallpaper. That’s the second link. Fair warning, I like to keep my phone screen really cleared off (as opposed to my frighteningly crowded office/studio in real life). If you’ve got a million icons on your phone screen, you may want to stick to your phone-supplied color or texture.

Wishing you a safe, happy, and restorative holiday season!

MJ Sharp | |

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