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MFA candidate Molly English Awarded 2024 MFA Dedalus Award in Painting and Sculpture

April 11, 2024

Congratulations to Molly English for being announced as a recipient of the 2024 Dedalus Foundation Master of Fine Arts Fellowship in Painting and Sculpture. The MFA Dadelus Awards are given annually to final-year students who are graduating from an MFA degree program in the United States. Four fellowships are awarded every year, each carrying a stipend of $15,000.

Molly English’s tapestries use strategies of narrative tapestry for a reimagining of storytelling through fiber. English refers to Western tapestry’s history of justifying state and religious dominance both in form and content, while rejecting the flattening warp and weft of the loom and embracing the wild textures of the ignoble tufting gun.  In material hybridity, the profusion of candy colors, fiber and glittering evoke a sense of domesticity and historic notions of the feminine, into tactile narratives that portray an ecological antithesis to centuries of human-centric, male domination. From English’s own lived and researched understandings of Irish Catholicism, Anarchism, Feminism, and Animism, the works grapple with the fallibility and necessity of liberatory and salvatory beliefs in a nihilistic world.

Molly English (b. 1993) is an artist from Chicagoland. She received her BA in studio art and poetry from Columbia College Chicago in 2016, and will receive her MFA in Studio Art from the University of North Carolina in 2024. In her work, English reimagines the traditional flatness of narrative tapestry as a more abundant form—one that positions faith as both a necessary and fallible mode of relating to an increasingly nihilistic world.

Congratulations to Art History Professor Victoria Rovine, named the next Director of Carolina Public Humanities

April 5, 2024

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Victoria Rovine, professor of art history, as the next director of Carolina Public Humanities. She begins her new role on July 1.

Professor Rovine has been a member of the department of art and art history faculty since 2014, joining the Carolina community after positions at the University of Florida and the University of Iowa. She is also currently director of the UNC African Studies Center, a position she wraps up at the end of this semester.

She has had a long association with Carolina Public Humanities programming, having given a number of lectures and talks on campus and at community colleges that were sponsored by CPH, the University’s public outreach arm for the humanities. The program is one of the many ways UNC serves North Carolina by bringing faculty expertise and resources to partner with communities throughout the state.

Professor Rovine is a scholar of African art, particularly African textiles and dress practices. She has published widely on African fashion designers, contemporary African artists and the representation of Africa in Europe through visual culture. Her public outreach experience began early in her career, when she worked as an educator at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, and later as a museum curator at the University of Iowa Museum of Art, where she saw firsthand the value of engagement and partnerships between the academic and public worlds. Her commitment to sharing the value of the humanities as a means of enriching our lives, addressing profound questions and building a stronger democracy could not come at a more important time.

I would like to once more thank Lloyd Kramer, professor of history, for so ably steering Carolina Public Humanities since 2014. The program greatly expanded under his tenure, even during the pandemic. Professor Rovine will find a talented and committed team in place when she begins her new role this summer.

I would also like to thank the members of the search committee, chaired by Christie Norris, director of Carolina K-12, for their efforts: Sarah Geer, CPH Advisory Board Chair; Eric Linwood Johnson, CPH Advisory Board Member; Herica Valladares, Associate Professor, Classics; and Alex Worsnip, Associate Professor, Philosophy.


Elizabeth S. D. Engelhardt

Senior Associate Dean for Fine Arts and Humanities

Kenan Eminent Professor of Southern Studies

College of Arts and Sciences

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Congratulations to Departmental Phi Beta Kappa honorees for 2024

April 4, 2024

Congratulations to the following Department of Art and Art History students who were inducted into Phi Beta Kappa this spring:

Isabelle Lilly Anderson, art history minor
Louise Celeste Covington, art history minor
Lauren Ashley Flach, art history minor
Lauren Sage Guillemette, studio art major
Andrew Robert Knotts, studio art major
Sydney Kates Martin, studio art major
Toni-Ann Ocloo, studio art minor
Glorianna R Tarlton, studio art minor

MFA Candidate Mark Anthony Brown in group show at Sibyl Gallery in New Orleans

March 26, 2024


29 MARCH – 5 MAY 2024

Sibyl is pleased to present I’ve been here before…, a group exhibition curated by multidisciplinary artist and scholar Shabez Jamal (b. 1992, St. Louis,  MO). I’ve been here before is a group exhibition that explores the recursive nature of photography through the lenses of ten emerging Black artists in the United States. The exhibition examines the relationship between the Black community and the photograph and how, through interactions with the medium, Black people have been able to create and recognize language and symbols that are vital to the continued formation of an ever-changing Black artistic canon.

Though many of the artists engage with different media including video, installation, painting, ceramic, sound, and sculpture, all ground their practice in the photographic image. Each artist recognizes the inherent ability of the photograph to conjure simultaneous feelings of loss and restoration. The memorial nature of the photograph allows space for the artist to look back with a knowing eye, and to generate new futures from the images and ideas of the past.

Curator Shabez Jamal directly cites Teena Marie’s song “Deja Vu” for its descriptions of many cosmic returns to both physical and emotional spaces. The photograph has a unique capacity to transport its viewer backwards and forwards through time, as Shawn Michelle Smith notes in her book Photographic Returns. Its potent connection to memory and potential to freeze and capture time makes photography a crucial source for those concerned with engaging the past in service of a better future.

I’ve been here before… features work by John AlleyneJustin CarneyMark Anthony Brown Jr.Sean G. ClarkJen EverettFelicita “Felli” MaynardAmbrose Rhapsody MurrayLola Ayisha OgbaraKristina Kay Robinson, and Darryl DeAngelo Terrell

About Shabez Jamal

Donny Bradfield (b. 1992, St. Louis) better known as Shabez Jamal, is an interdisciplinary artist based in New Orleans, LA. Their work, rooted in still portraiture, experimental video, and performance, interrogates physical, political, and social-economical space by using queerness, not as a means of speaking about sexuality, but as a catalyst to challenge varying power relations. Often turning the lens on themself, Jamal utilizes self-portraiture as a means of radically redefining the parameters of racial and sexual identity. Jamal received their BIS from the University of Missouri – St. Louis in 2019 and received their MFA from Tulane University in the spring of 2022 where they were also awarded a Mellon Community-Engaged Research Fellowship. In 2020 Jamal was also an inaugural member of Harvard Universities Commonwealth: In the city Fellowship.


Studio update from MFA alumnus Eric Pickersgill

March 15, 2024

So much has changed for me and the world since my last update. We are now a wild family of five, our amazing kids (Corbin 7, Tessa 4, and Sam 2) have kept me very busy. I love being thier stay at home dad while mom (Angie) serves our city of Charlotte, NC and beyond as a super pediatrician!Below is info about some upcoming events. I am hitting the studio hard and will be sharing new work and updates on a more routine basis.Thanks for sticking around!


Removed, Compiler Pop-Up Series, Barcelona Edition, Nou-StudiosBarcelona, Spain


I’m thrilled to introduce Compiler, a new nonprofit newsroom “launching in 2024 to relentlessly report on the people, institutions and global forces shaping our digital future.” To kick off this exciting launch, Compiler will be hosting an exhibition of my Removed series in Barcelona next week!

If you are in Barcelona you can click here for tickets to the opening celebration.

Purchase the first edition of Compiler here which features selections from my Removed series as well as the newly released Removed photographs I created in India.

Removed, Compiler Pop-Up Series, Austin Edition, Women & Their WorkAustin, TX


Compiler will take over the innovative contemporary art museum Women & Their Work for The Austin Edition during South by Southwest. A special multimedia installation of artist Eric Pickersgill’s work will provide the perfect backdrop for tech policy conversations and to engage, unplug, and reflect.




In 2017 I was invited to expand my Removed series by traveling to India and making photographs in Delhi, Mumbai, Rishikesh, Shillong, and Kolkata. The experience was one of my favorite trips of my life and I shared the several week journey with an extremely dedicated team of filmmakers. When I returned home we hoped to create a feature length film and I learned how challenging it can be to work on such an ambitious project. Although the team and director produced a strong film, we have yet to launch it. I think the work still matters, if not more now than it did then. I stalled the release of these images so that they could be released into the world when the film was. I decided a few months ago that I needed to release these images and so here they are. If you wish to see more you can go here.

Protecting REMOVED

I have been using Pixsy since 2016 to protect my work against theft. Pixsy is scanning the entire web 24/7 for potential illegal use of my photographs. Once found, Pixsy lists the usage on my dashboard and I am able to select whether or not a takedown notice or other legal action needs to be taken. If you feel that your content is being used without your consent I highly recommend creating an account so that you do not have to safeguard your work alone.

For editorial and media requests contact Julie GrahameFor print / exhibition inquiries contact Info@ericpickersgill.comI am currently available for editorial assignment and speaking engagements, please contact for booking information.

All content © 2024, Eric Pickersgill, All rights reserved.My mailing address

PhD Alumnus Daniel Ackermann named director of Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens at MFA-Houston

March 5, 2024

Congratulations to PhD Alumnus Daniel Ackermann, who has just been named director of Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, the house museum for American decorative arts at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.  You can find the full announcement at Daniel was previously the curator for the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in Winston-Salem.

PhD Candidate Emily DuVall presented at the Middle Atlantic Symposium

March 5, 2024

Congratulations to Emily DuVall, who represented the department at the Middle Atlantic Symposium (co-sponsored by CASVA, the National Gallery of Art, and the University of Maryland) this past weekend of March 1-2, 2024. Emily’s talk, “Visualizing Power: François Ier’s Royal Entries,” presented new research that resulted from travel to France in the Fall of 2023, funded by a Stephens Family Award. Her advisor Tania String was also in attendance to introduce her talk and photographed Emily in action at the Symposium.

Emily DuVall presenting at the Middle Atlantic Symposium in 2024

Art History Graduate Students Rachel Ciampoli and Sydney Herrick presenting at FSU Graduate Symposium

February 29, 2024

The Florida State University Art History faculty and graduate students will host the 40th Annual Art History Graduate Student Symposium on March 1–2, 2024, on their main campus in Tallahassee, FL.

Rachel Ciampoli will be presenting on “‘The Indigenous Posey of the Soil:’ Eastman Johnson’s Maple Sugar Paintings and the Aesthetics of Erasure.”

Between 1861 and 1865, American genre painter Eastman Johnson produced roughly twenty-five oil sketches in preparation for an ultimately unfinished master work depicting New Englanders engaged in the harvest and production of maple sugar. Although hailed during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as a potential domestic cash crop and a wholesome foil to the unsavory politics of cane sugar production, northeastern maple sugar was entangled in contentious Indigenous-settler relationships. Using Sara Ahmed’s theory of “stickiness” as a framework, I argue that Johnson’s sentimental and homogenously White characterization of maple sugaring should be understood in light of the erasure of Native American cultural practices and Johnson’s own relationship to Indigenous communities. Recovering Indigenous associations with the practice of maple sugaring engages in the very process of untangling— perhaps unsticking—historical assumptions and perpetuated myths and undermines the integrity of a single-origin narrative, thereby complicating typical expectations of place and people.

Sydney Herrick will be presenting on “Breaking Chains, Forging Beauty: Redefining African Jewelry Design Through the Artistry of Emefa Cole.”

Within prevailing art historical discourse, contemporary African jewelry remains overlooked, primarily due to long histories of exoticization and jewelry’s association with craft. This paper focuses on the work of British-Ghanian jewelry designer Emefa Cole, examining how her utilization of sticky materials, referential designs, and diverse display methods disrupts these conventional paradigms and position her work as fertile ground for exploring critical theoretical frameworks like Afrofuturism and Black Futurity. This paper positions contemporary African jewelry as a medium ripe for in-depth art historical and theoretical investigation, highlighting a significant void in the field and advocating for a renewed emphasis on jewelry as an autonomous art form capable of enhancing broader understandings of art, culture, and individual expression