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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

Multiple Faculty and Alumni featured in current Basement X Peel Group Exhibition

September 12, 2022

BASEMENT X PEEL

Fundraiser Exhibition Event

Opening Reception: Friday, September 9th at Peel.

Closing Reception: Saturday, September 24th at BASEMENT.

BASEMENT X PEEL will be on view at both BASEMENT and Peel from Friday, September 9th until Saturday, September 24th. Peel will host an opening reception and silent auction on Friday, September 9th from 6-9 pm, during the Carrboro, Chapel Hill 2nd Friday Art Walk, with refreshments in the parking lot and live music. BASEMENT will host a closing reception and silent auction on Saturday, September 24th from 6-9 pm with “A STANK/STINK Outdoor Happenings,” a performance art experience.

All work in the exhibition will be available for purchase via both traditional sale and silent auction during both receptions and during all open hours of the exhibition at both locations. All proceeds from sales will go to supporting BASEMENT and Peel programming.

BASEMENT Open Hours: 9/10 & 9/11 and 9/17 & 9/18 from 2-5 pm

BASEMENT address: 605 Caswell Rd. Chapel Hill, NC (stairs to BASEMENT on left of driveway)

Featuring work by Adriana Ameigh // Alissa Van Atta // Allison Tierney //Anna-Christina De La Iglesia // Ashlie Johnson Coggins // Ayla Gizlice David D’Agostino // Dawn Colsia // Emma Stevens // Fabrizio Bianchi // Georgia Paige Welch // Hillary Ensminger // Hồng-Ân Trương // Jean Gray Mohs // Jenn Adams // Jimmy Fountain // John Shaw // Jon Neal // Jonh Blanco // Joy Drury Cox // Jphono1 // Leah Foushee Waller // Madeleine Grace Popkin // Madison Speyer // Mark Allen Soderstrom // Mark Anthony Brown Jr. // Marsha Glickman // Matthew Tauch // Natasja Brezenski // Nathaniel Quinn // Paget Fink // Paul Deblinger // Peg Bachenheimer // Rachel Moon // River Cortes // Rusty Shackleford // Serena Fenton // Shelley Smith // Sterling Bowen // Tama Hochbaum // Toni Hartley // Tricia Russ // Gadisse Lee // Jiahn Kang // Lindsay Metivier

MFA Alumna Elizabeth Cornejo named Southern Prize Finalist

September 6, 2022

At the sixth annual Southern Prize and State Fellowships award ceremony held at the Bo Bartlett Center in Columbus, GA yesterday evening, Louisiana artist Hannah Chalew was named the 2022 Southern Prize winner receiving an award of $25,000. The Southern Prize Finalist, receiving a $10,000 award, is Tennessee artist Sarah Elizabeth Cornejo. Both Southern Prize recipients also receive a two-week residency at the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences.

They are among the nine State Fellowship recipients, each of whom received a $5,000 award, currently featured in an exhibition on display at the Bo Bartlett Center through December 10, 2022, before touring to additional locations across the region next year.

“Congratulations to Hannah, Sarah, and all of this year’s State Fellowship recipients,” said Neil Barclay, board chair for South Arts. “This cohort of artists represents the diversity in voices, thought, technique, and style of our region, and we are honored to support their work with these awards.”

The nine 2022 Southern Prize and State Fellowship recipients are:

  • Jenny Fine. Multidisciplinary. Alabama Fellow.
  • GeoVanna Gonzalez. Multidisciplinary. Florida Fellow.
  • Antonio Darden. Sculpture. Georgia Fellow.
  • Crystal Gregory. Sculpture. Kentucky Fellow.
  • Hannah Chalew. Mixed Media. Louisiana Fellow and Southern Prize Winner.
  • Gloria Gipson Suggs. Painting. Mississippi Fellow.
  • Marcus Dunn. Painting. North Carolina Fellow.
  • Brittany M. Watkins. Mixed Media. South Carolina Fellow.
  • Sarah Elizabeth Cornejo. Sculpture. Tennessee Fellow and Southern Prize Finalist.

Work by Faculty Member Lien Truong in Upcoming Solo and Group Shows

August 24, 2022

Turner Carroll Gallery
Lien Truong: From the Earth Rise Radiant Beings
August 26 – September 25, 2022
Opening Reception, August 26, 5-7 pm

In her first solo exhibition at Turner Carroll Gallery Lien Truong exhibits works from her series From the Earth Rise Radiant Beings. The series consists of bold explorations of color and form, and staunch repudiation of Orientalist stereotypes. Taking female figures from 18th- and 19th-century paintings she transforms them into silhouettes painted in the palest yellow hues and reappropriates the figures’ sexualized and submissive gestures into a kind of Asian futurism. Through otherworldly landscapes and anamorphic silk shapes, Truong creates narratives of love transcending generations to create messages of resistance, autonomy, and beauty.

View work in the exhibition.


Patricia Sweetow Gallery Los Angeles
Linda Sormin | Luis A. Sahagun | Lien Truong
September 3 – October 15, 2022
Artist Reception, September 10, 2022, 2-8 pm

PATRICIA SWEETOW GALLERY is excited to announce our Inaugural Exhibition in Los Angeles at 1700 South Santa Fe Avenue, 3rd Floor, with artists Lien Truong, North Carolina; Linda Sormin, New York and Luis A. Sahagun, California. The three artists in this exhibition offer practices immersed in complex visual and political American histories. They share personal, spiritual, and cultural stories of migration during war, economic collapse, and sovereign colonization. Their journeys come alive through a mélange of performative sculpture and painting, amplified by their respective interrogations of ancestral, racial, gender, and ritual erasure. The rich, profound impact of their ideas finds life in unexpected iterations of nontraditional and historical materials. The three artists offer compelling and imaginative cultural forms that examine deeply personal histories that have endured within and alongside dominant culture under extraordinary circumstances.

In Memoriam: James E. Newton, first African-American graduate of MFA program

July 5, 2022

Dr. James E. Newton, a beloved instructor and mentor to many, sadly departed this earthly life on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, following a gradual decline in health. He was 80 years old.

Dr. Newton was born on July 3, 1941, in Bridgeton, New Jersey to the late Clifford and Hilda Newton, the 4th of their nine children. After serving as a military policeman in the Army, he received his B.A. in Art and German from North Carolina Central University, a Masters of Fine Art (MFA) from UNC-Chapel Hill, and a Doctorate in Curriculum Development in Black Studies and Education from Illinois State University. An award-winning artist, Dr. Newton was the first African-American to receive an MFA degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

In addition to his love of art, Dr. Newton had a passion for teaching and mentoring young people, which he was able to do for many years while serving as a tenured professor and director of Black American Studies at the University of Delaware.
He is the author of several books, including The Principles of Diversity, The Other Slaves, Curriculum Evaluation of Student Knowledge of Afro-American Life and History, and numerous articles on multicultural education, African-American art, and diversity. In addition to being an inductee into the National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, he is also the recipient of the University of Delaware’s Excellence in Teaching Award, and most recently, a recipient of the University’s Honorary Doctorate.
An active member of the community, Dr. Newton served on the board of many organizations, including the Walnut Street YMCA, Delaware State Arts Council, Delaware Art Museum, The Tatnall School, Public Allies, and others. He was also a 50+ year member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.

Dr. Newton lived an exceptional life that has served as a model for younger generations to follow. He was not only a loving husband, devoted father, and friend to many, but he was a true inspiration to those whose lives he touched. He will be greatly missed by all that had the privilege to be a part of his life.

Dr. Newton is preceded in death by his brother David.

Dr. Newton is survived by his wife of 54 years, LaWanda; his daughters, Regina, Walidah, and KaWansi; grandchildren Sean, Imevar, Nahlia, Isis, and Indigo; siblings Charles, George, Mary, Margaret, Katherine, Ann, and Jeffrey; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Alumnus Ripley Whiteside Online Exhibition at Red Arrow Gallery

June 21, 2022

Red Arrow is pleased to present Ripley Whiteside’s Polyethylene, an online exclusive exhibition opening June 17th and continuing through August 20th.

“For these paintings, I applied watercolor to paper through polyethylene matrixes: plastic grocery store bags and polyester dryer sheets. In spite of well-meaning efforts, most plastic is not recycled; tossed in a can but eventually buried in the landscape, much of it becomes visually inert. As a landfill, plastic becomes part of a grand chemical experiment, a long uncharted journey of disintegration and coalescence. How will the decomposition of these massively distributed, chemically complex objects shape their environment? These paintings imagine landscapes of that future.”

Ripley Whiteside was born in 1982 and grew up in Chapel Hill and Durham, NC. He received his MFA from SUNY-Buffalo in 2012, where he also taught foundations art courses, and his BFA from UNC-CH in 2008. He has participated in solo and group exhibitions in the US and Canada, and has been a resident at Willapa Bay A.I.R, The Peanut Factory, I-Park, and The Vermont Studio Center. His work is represented by Pierre-François Ouellette Art Contemporaries (Montreal) and Red Arrow Gallery (Nashville). He lives and works in Nashville, TN.

MFA Alumnus Michael J Bramwell appointed curator at Boston MFA

June 8, 2022

Michael Bramwell

Congratulations to MFA alumnus Michael J. Bramwell, who was recently appointed as the inaugural Linde Curator of Folk and Self-Taught Art at The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston! The creation of the new position is part of an initiative designed to reanimate and reimagine the MFA’s storied folk-art collection for 21st-century audiences, supported by longtime trustee Joyce Linde. Collaborating with fellow curators in the Art of the Americas Department and colleagues across the Museum, Bramwell will develop innovative exhibitions, collection displays and public programs—envisioning new ways to make folk and self-taught art accessible, relevant, and important to the lives of visitors. He will begin his new role on June 1.

Bramwell’s scholarship and research has explored the visual and material culture of the African diaspora in the American South from the 19th through the 20th centuries. He currently serves as Visiting Guest Curator at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he is organizing the exhibition House Party: R.S.V.P. B.Y.O.B. Bramwell has collaborated on exhibitions, workshops and visiting critic engagements with the North Carolina Museum of Art, MoMA PS1, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Maryland Institute College of Art. He has been awarded two Andrew W. Mellon Humanities for the Public Good Fellowships for his work at MESDA and the Ackland Art Museum. Bramwell is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where his dissertation is focused on resistance in the art of enslaved potter David Drake. As a visual artist, Bramwell has been featured in a wide range of solo and group exhibitions, including at the MoMA P.S.1, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Jack Tilton Gallery. His work can be found in the collections of the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, the New School University, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, among many others. He holds an M.F.A. from UNC Chapel Hill, an M.A. in special education from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree from Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama. Bramwell’s work is supported by the Joan Mitchell, Andrew W. Mellon, and Pollock-Krasner foundations.
“As a practicing artist and academically-trained art historian, Michael Bramwell brings a distinct perspective to folk and self-taught art. His commitment to telling new stories and reaching beyond the canon promises to reenergize the display and interpretation of this material at the MFA. It is an honor to welcome Michael to Boston,” said Ethan Lasser, John Moors Cabot Chair, Art of the Americas.

The MFA has long collected folk art—broadly defined—in many genres, with notable strength in works made in the northeastern U.S. in the 18th and 19th centuries. Highlights include important paintings by Erastus Salisbury Field, William Matthew Prior and Rufus Porter, nearly 350 works on paper from the Karolik Collection, a significant collection of American quilts, and select examples of painted furniture and sculptural forms. The new Folk Art Initiative positions the MFA as a global leader in reinvigorating and rethinking a body of material that challenges narrow definitions of “what is art” and “who is an artist’—and creates space for the greater inclusion of voices, narratives and histories, offering a unique point of access and invitation to visitors. A cross-departmental team, which included curators, conservators and staff members from the Learning and Community Engagement division, developed a strategic framework for the Folk Art Initiative to evolve and unfold over the next several years. This collaborative process laid the groundwork for the MFA’s 2021 exhibition Collecting Stories: The Invention of Folk Art (generously supported by the Henry Luce Foundation), which explored the history and evolution of the term “folk art” by reconsidering works on paper and sculpture from the Karolik Collection.

With support for exhibitions, programs and interpretation, the Linde Curator will have the platform to galvanize colleagues across the Museum to think anew about folk art in the Americas and across the globe, and explore new ways to make the collection accessible, relevant and important to the lives of visitors today. Through the Folk Art Initiative, the MFA will place folk and self-taught art in dialogue with other art forms across disciplines—particularly contemporary art—integrate folk art into existing learning programs, and invite members of the Museum’s teen programs and community partners to offer fresh perspectives on interpretation and the stories told in the galleries.

Opening Thursday at the Ackland: Myth and Memory, Selected Works by the MFA Class of 2022

April 19, 2022

In Myth & Memory, five artists interrogate practices of history-making and history-keeping at the individual, institutional, and systemic level. Beginning with personal narrative, each artist engages a vocabulary of fantasy to make visible that which has been forgotten, obscured, or erased by white heteropatriarchal modes of dominance. Through intimate gestures and acts of subversion, they reframe the lens through which memory is archived to tell new stories from a restructured past. Their work imagines potential futures in which marginalized bodies are not under siege.

Participating artists are the five UNC-Chapel Hill Class of 2022 Master of Fine Arts in studio art candidates: Raj BunnagCharlie DupeeHugo LjungbäckPhượng Duyên Hải Nguyễn, and Stella Rosalie RosenMyth & Memory is curated by Laura Ritchie ’10 (BFA), a curator, arts administrator, and cultural worker in Durham; she is a founder and former executive director of The Carrack.

This exhibition is made possible by the generous support of Maryanna & Will Johnson and The Seymour & Carol Levin Foundation.

EXHIBITION-RELATED PUBLIC PROGRAMS

Thursday, April 21, 7-8:30 p.m.
Opening Reception for Myth & Memory
Free and open to the public.

Saturday, April 23, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Animation Workshop with Stella Rosalie Rosen
Free; All Ages.

Saturday, April 23, 1-2 p.m.
Guided Tour of Myth & Memory
Led by all five MFA Candidates, with an Introduction by Exhibition Curator Laura Ritchie
Free.

Friday, May 13, 6-7:30 p.m., during the 2nd Friday ArtWalk
Print-Making Demonstration with Raj Bunnag
Free, All-Ages.

Every year the Ackland presents works by the Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts candidates in an exhibition selected by changing guest curators. The artists will also be displaying their thesis projects at other locations in the Triangle on the following schedule:

Phượng Duyên Hải Nguyễn and Hugo Ljungbäck at Anchorlight from April 9 to 30, 2022, with an opening reception from 4-7 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, and a gallery talk from 4-5 p.m. on Saturday, April 30.

Raj Bunnag, Charlie Dupee, and Stella Rosalie Rosen at LUMP from April 15 to May 22, 2022, with a gallery talk and screenings on the evening of First Friday, May 6.


Image credit: Phượng Duyên Hải Nguyễn, Vietnamese-American, born 1992, Nowhen, 2022, cotton threads, 64 x 45 inches. Lent by the artist.

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