Feature Articles
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May Issue 2010

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Features Works by Art Students

Each spring, the Ackland Art Museum at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (NC) presents New Currents in Contemporary Art, an exhibition of works by graduating UNC-Chapel Hill master of fine arts students, on view through May 23, 2010.

Marking the culmination of a two-year program, this exhibition introduces four emerging artists who interpret ideas ranging from the personal to the political in a wide variety of media, styles, and approaches. Curated by Lauren Sanford, Graduate Intern at the Ackland who is pursuing her PhD in Art History at UNC-Chapel Hill, New Currents in Contemporary Art features the work of artists T. Coke Whitworth, Jessica Dupuis, Kia Mercedes Carscallen, and Emily Scott Beck.
As a father of two young children, T. Coke Whitworth is keenly aware of the various implications of psychological and emotional inheritance, both positive and negative. In the exhibit he explores these issues in a series of ten color photographs depicting various images from the rural area of North Carolina where he was raised. Surprising and evocative, these images investigate the various and complex dynamics of heritage and heredity.
Jessica Dupuis' most recent work evolves from an experimental process that involves the combination of clay and discarded materials, such as cardboard boxes and newspaper. Dupuis then fires these forms, leaving only a wafer thin porcelain shell. These fragile and ephemeral works explore the nature of method and form.
In Kia Mercedes Carscallen's dynamic multimedia installation Systemic, a shifting and grotesque face appears projected onto a post-colonial bed. The image serves as an invitation to examine the present through ideologies past. Challenging socially conditioned "norms" constructed through race, class, gender, and sexuality, Carscallen's work addresses the complexities of contemporary identity.
The exhibition features four multi-media works by Emily Scott Beck, including Churn, a video of women speaking while submerged in water. Although these women physically struggle to speak, the experience gives them license to explicitly express their feelings. Other works by Beck include an audio installation in the Museum's permanent Early Modern gallery Art and the Religious World. Featuring recordings of people speaking about their belief and disbelief in God, this work creates a unique multimedia experience within the context of familiar pieces from a different era.
The Ackland Art Museum is located on the historic campus of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As an academic unit of the University, the Ackland serves broad local, state, and national constituencies. The Ackland Collection consists of more than 15,500 works of art, featuring significant collections of European masterworks, twentieth-century and contemporary art, North Carolina's premier collections of Asian art and works of art on paper (drawings, prints, and photographs), as well as African art and North Carolina pottery and folk art.
For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Museum at 919/966-5736 or visit (www.ackland.org).

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