ArtSea campers doing art
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Summer 2011 ArtSea Artist Profiles

Experience the environment through the eyes of an artist! In the summer 2011 the University of North Carolina Wilmington hosted ArtSea, a week-long summer camp for ages 12-16 that combined art and the oceans in an effort to inspire appreciation for marine environments. If you missed it don't worry two sessions will be offered in summer 2012 featuring new and returning artists (June 24-29; July 15-20).

ArtSea, a variation of the popular MarineQuest summer camps, will use the marine environment as artistic inspiration while also teaching students about conservation and stewardship. Students learn about different artistic interpretations of marine plants, animals and habitats and then work in the studio to create their own masterpieces.[more]

In 2011 the lead instructor was Laura Flessner a graduate student in the environmental studies program who also has an B.F.A. in art. She recently was the teaching assistant for a UNCW environmental film course. She specializes is acrylic painting of sunsets overlain with silhouettes and shadows. Below are artist profiles from summer 2011.

peggy cleary

Peggy Cleary is a visual artist known for her mosaic, sculpture and public art works. Her Character in Education public art project was completed with the help of 220 fifth grade students. It consists of six concrete table sets enhanced with vitreous glass mosaic tiles based on ancient floor patters from around the world.

virginia wright frierson

As a multi-talented artist, illustrator, writer and teacher Virginia Wright-Frierson is prolific in her varied projects. She received her BFA in painting from the University of North Carolina Greensboro in 1971. She also studied in Cortona, Italy with the Art Student’s League in New York. She lived in Arizona for many years and worked at the Tucson Museum of Art School and the University of Arizona.

Her work has been featured around the world in over thirty exhibitions. Her 1977 move to Wilmington presented inspirations such as the 2004 tribute to Minnie Evans, artistic gatekeeper of Airlie Gardens for over 20 years. She was also commissioned in 2000 to paint a large mural in Littleton, Colorado at Columbine High School following the tragic shooting. She hoped her work would help the healing process, saying, “I want them to see forever and forget the terrible tragedy that happened here two months ago.”

james fulcher

James Fulcher '02, who graduated with a communication studies degree, first began “whittling sea creatures out of wood” in the mid- 1990s during his four-year stint in the army. “When I was in the woods, I would carve relief designs, and they made me feel like I was back at home,” he said. Most of Fulcher’s designs are inspired by his hometown, Atlantic, N.C., where for over 100 years his family has been part of the commercial fishing industry. “I used to watch old fishermen tell stories and whittle and when they were done talking, they would give you a beauti-ful pelican or fish. Watching them made me analyze things around me and go, ‘I could make something out of that.’ Now, this is how I express myself creatively,” he explained. Fulcher said the pieces he created for the Fisher Student Center are “fashioned out of old surf boards beyond repair” which he chisels with a knife and then paints with vibrant acrylic paints in his home garage overlooking the water.

dumay gorham

A native of Wilmington, Dumay Gorham, graduated from New Hanover High School in 1987. He attended North Carolina State University where he received a bachelor of arts in English. He went on to earn a degree in Industrial Design Technology from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Dumay specializes in custom metal designs and fabrication. He works in copper, brass, steel, and stainless steel as well as fiberglass and urethanes.

In addition to being shown in local art shows, Gorham's metal sculptures appear in businesses throughout the Wilmington area. He completed wall installation versions of business logos for Copy Cat Print Shop and Ford Design Co. He has also completed commissioned sculptures for The North Carolina Aquarium in Ft. Fisher, The New Hanover County arboretum, The UNC-W Center for Marine Science, The City of Wilmington, N.C., and many private homes and gardens throughout the area.

abby spangle perry

Abby Spangel Perry works toward giving visual form to current ecological issues by focusing on our cultural ambivalence toward the environment and our mistreatment of nature as a commodity. My goal in doing so is to draw attention to the negative effects our society is placing on the smallest components of ecosystems. View her profile and works.

michael van hout

Michael Van Hout is well-known for his metalwork and sculptures, which are widely exhibited throughout the state. The Cameron Art Museum has hosted a corps of his giraffes and a zeal of his zebras; the education building and library at UNC-Wilmington are home to several of his aquatic installations; and two of the state’s aquariums feature his underwater creations, swimming right alongside the real thing. His recent installations are displayed on site at several area elementary schools—a map of the world at Forest Hills, sea life at Ogden, and a tree of life at Winter Park—as well as at the Children’s Museum of Wilmington and Airlie Gardens. A graduate of UNC-Greensboro, Michael has recently returned to his roots, taking a fresh approach to printmaking. He is a full-time studio artist with space at ACME Art, and his work is exhibited at several galleries throughout the state. To see Michael in action or to check out his painting, prints and sculptures.



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