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Donna Moore

September 27, 2016

Donna Moore ’81 already possessed artistic talent when she enrolled at UNCW, but she credits her time at the university with opening her eyes to art’s broad influence on humanity and society. Today, as director of the Museum School at the Cameron Art Museum, she helps others develop their own special relationship with art.

“I started my studies with a personal connection to art, but I graduated from UNCW with a strong awareness and commitment to the life-changing power the arts can bring to everyone, everywhere,” she said.

As a work-study student at UNCW, Moore was given the job of assisting legendary Wilmington artist Claude Howell in the art department. He was a demanding mentor, but she learned much from him.

“Even though he could make me cry with his sharp-edged critiques and directions, he nurtured my relationship with the Wilmington arts community from the beginning,” she said. “He was the first to introduce me to St. John’s Museum of Art, then located in downtown Wilmington. He was not only an instructor, he demonstrated the connection between artists and art as cultural sustenance throughout the state of North Carolina.”

Moore graduated with a B.A. in creative arts and has spent her career continuing to build that cultural connection by opening the world of art to beginners as well as more advanced students. She taught life drawing – artistic studies of the nude human figure – at both St. John’s and its successor, the CAM, for many years, before becoming Museum School director when co-director Martha Burdette retired.

As “an artist turned administrator,” she works with other artists to design classes that bring both traditional and unconventional art studies to students of all levels. She says she finds it exhilarating to share her craft with people who long to learn.

“Walking into the studio environment each morning always boosts my mood and reminds me of the yet-to-be revealed creative potential each turn of attention holds,” Moore said.

When she isn’t working, one of Moore’s favorite pastimes is to “breathe the beach.”

“I feel incredibly fortunate to live so close to the edge of the ocean,” she said. “The majority of the population must plan, save money, take vacation and travel to arrive where I can spontaneously visit in 15 minutes or less.”

-- Tricia Vance

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