Susan Fecho: When I Breathe on Air
October 24th – November 19th
Artalk October 24th
My recent work is inspired by the natural world - while also responding to the vernacular. On-site influences from botanical specimens, collected vintage items and histories provide ways to connect. Driving subject choices is historic iconography. “As I Breathe on Air” is an excerpt from a letter written by a young woman while traveling in 1910. Exploring the importance of storytelling, I want to image the surfaces placed in space – with increased negative space or forms that lift with layers to see around or through – to suggest memory, imagined sounds and emotions. This selection of mixed media works delight in intricate surfaces, forms and subtle hues to conceal deeper meanings.
Susan Fecho, a resident of historic Tarboro, has exhibited regionally, nationally and internationally - and has received numerous awards, grants and residencies. She shares that “storytelling is at the core of my work, with the collaged surface used as a mode of telling stories.” Fecho’s published images have been accepted into several major collections: the Smithsonian Institution’s American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery Library, Washington, D.C.; the Word and Image Department, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England; and the Museum of Women Artists, Washington, D.C.
CHAMPAGNE GOOLSBY SCRENKER WRIGHT VAN TASSELL
September 19 – October 15
Artalk September 19, 7:30PM, Kennedy~Reedy Theatre
Despite this subject matter I do not, and have never, considered myself to be a landscape photographer. What interests me foremost is the light, and only then the space upon which it falls. My current work explores the evolution, or rather devolution, of Boone Lake – now virtually dry since 2014, the marinas slowly becoming replaced by wooded areas as it transforms into a surreal landscape. The subject, however, is only a point of departure for visual exploration and expression and not a true documentary.
Charles W. Goolsby
I see the results of my work as a synthesis of memories, affective responses, logics, and
physical processes resulting in reflection and understanding. In essence, my paintings
are visual interpretations of complex intersections of experience and sensory stimuli.
Monotype combines the immediacy of painting with the graphic character of
printmaking. First, I paint my image onto a printmaking plate that has not been engraved
or etched. Once I finish the painted image, I transfer the image from the plate to paper
using an etching press. The resulting image is a one-of-a- kind print. This medium allows
me to experiment quickly with a variety of ideas. I explore etching plates as physical
objects with the intention of the printed images functioning as liminal ports.
Color and our response to color within our environment has been something we all take for granted. The research was slim at the time, and most essays on the history of color were written by centuries old philosophers such as Sir Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and Wilhelm Ostwald. These philosophers addressed color theory and mixing, but little addressed the physiological or psychological aspect of color. It wasn’t until Carl Jung that research
into archetypes and symbols opened the door to color as symbol.
The kitchen has been the hub of the household for centuries, it is the soul of the home. As social norms change, so does the kitchen. Focusing on the kitchen is a perfect glimpse into the social role of women as defined through the predominant colors available through the decades. In this series I would like to give an intuitive glimpse into the social constructs that defined the role of women, wife, mother, professional, and human based on the colors of the time.
Over the years photography has become much more than recording where I have
been. Conveying the impression that the scene leaves on my mind is my goal. In
my photographs, I strive to capture the atmosphere and ambiance that the
landscape evokes in me and hopefully pass that feeling on to the viewers.
This series is about capturing the surrounding landscape as it passes by during my
journey. In each of these images, I use blurred motion to capture scenes in my
camera that my eye doesn’t always register. Familiar objects are transformed by
the camera, clear outlines dissolve, and buildings become splashes of color; grass
and trees turn into brushstrokes. This technique helps to simplify the landscape
and the objects in it and creates an impression of a new landscape with new
colors, shapes, and textures.
My images are seen through the camera, they are not manipulated in the
darkroom or computer. Things are not planned, and decisions must be made in
an instant. Since I am not sure what the resulting image will be, I count on
random chances and surprises.
Dan Van Tassell
I am interested in creating pottery that could just as easily interact with the hand functionally as it can interact with the eye as a sculptural object. The pots that I create are full of breath and movement. The surface of each porcelain form is treated like a skin with luscious folds that beg to be touched. The soda-fired surface of these vessels is meant to accentuate each form in relation to another in the kiln. It also embellishes each surface as unique and one of a kind. I embrace the qualities of the fire as a brush to decorate my altered thrown surfaces with deposits of soda. Additionally, the fire adds layers of carbon trapping through the reduction cooling process during, and after soda induction. This creates diverse, rich and colorful surfaces over the oxides and flashing slip applied to each form.
As a sculptor, I am fascinated with how human beings interpret information, particularly when presented with a situation or idea that requires them to break their preconditioned notions of what the reality of an object or situation is. The ways which we interact with one another and the environment which we exist in is a curiosity to me. This curiosity is furthered in how each of these elements affects the other. These relationships exist in their most primal state through the notion that what we do affects where we exist, but where we exist can also affect what we do. The focus of my interest in this relationship lies in the “what if” which is unique to human perception. Through this psychology of connection, a narrative is formed in the work. By displaying works which have this implied narrative quality, I hope to create visual tension, as well as to speak to a particular metaphor unique to each individual work.
Joseph Champagne is currently the curator of the McGlothlin Center for the Arts as well as Adjunct Professor of Fine Art at Emory & Henry College. Prior to joining the faculty of Emory & Henry in 2015 teaching photography and web design, he was a Professor of Photography & Digital Imaging at Virginia Intermont College until the college closed in 2014, and was Chair of the Fine Arts Division there from 2009-2014, having joined the faculty in 1987 and started the institution’s Digital Imaging curriculum in 1989. In addition to teaching full-time, he served as director of the college’s Photography Gallery. He has served as S.E. Regional Vice-Chair and Chair of the Society for Photographic Education, and was appointed a Fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar in 2004.
Charles W. Goolsby, Professor of Art at Emory & Henry College and Chair of the Division of Visual & Performing Arts, has been a practicing professional artist for more than forty years. He held the Allen & Agnes Rowlett Chair of Creative Studies from 2015-2018. He earned his B.F.A. in Art from Radford University in 1980 and the M.F.A. in Art from James Madison University in 1994. Goolsby’s work has been featured in more than 45 solo exhibitions throughout the southeastern United States at various college, university, fine arts center, museum and commercial galleries. Blue Spiral I Gallery, in Asheville, North Carolina represents him.
Catherine Schrenker, educated as a graphic designer, taught color theory and graphic design at Indiana University and The University of Notre Dame. Her research while at Notre Dame led to her work with color, emotions, and behavior and she became a distinguished pioneer in the integral role color plays in our emotions and behavior. This research led to Catherine being dubbed, “The Queen of Color” and she remains well respected in the medical, corporate, and educational communities throughout the United States and Europe. Internationally, Catherine has worked as a graphic designer in Den Haag, Netherlands and taught “The Philosophy of Color” at Warsaw University, Warsaw, Poland.
An established adjunct professor of art with more than 25 years of teaching experience at Emory & Henry College, Wright attended James Madison University where he discovered his passion for photography, achieving his B.S. in art with an emphasis in photography. He continued his studies at Virginia Commonwealth University where he achieved his M.F.A. in photography. Wright has exhibited photographs throughout the United States and his photographs have appeared in various regional and national travel magazines.
Wright is also a serial entrepreneur who has created numerous businesses since opening his first retail business in 1998. Wright’s business ventures include retail shops, restaurants, magazine publishing, graphic design, web design, advertising design, screen printing, and vacation lodgings.
Wright currently resides in Damascus, VA with his wife and daughter. Wright teaches digital art, beginning and advanced darkroom and digital photography.
Dan Van Tassell
A ceramics and mixed media sculptor who was born and raised in Janesville, Wisconsin, he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in ceramics at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2008, and his Masters of Fine Art in ceramics in 2012 at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. He was an artist in residence at the University of North Dakota in 2012. Upon completing the year long artist residency, he accepted a position in that department both as an Instructor, and as Preparator and Registrar of the University of North Dakota’s Art Collections. Dan joined the faculty at Emory & Henry College in the summer of 2015 as Curator, and also began teaching in the Visual Art Department at that time. Van Tassell served as art department chair from 2019 to 2022, and was recently promoted to Assistant Professor at Emory & Henry College. He has exhibited throughout the United States, recently winning “Best of Show” for his piece Projecting in the national juried exhibition Hybridity at the Edwardsville Art Center in Edwardsville, IL. His work has been published in the popular “500 Series” book 500 Ceramic Sculptures: Contemporary Practice, Singular Works. Currently, Dan, his wife Rachael, and daughter Lily reside in Glade Spring, Virginia. He remains an active studio artist, as well as a fanatically avid fisherman, fly tyer, outdoor enthusiast, and fish keeper.
Cheryl Goldsleger: Paradox
Feb. 14 - March. 12; Artalk Feb. 14, 7:30 p.m. via Zoom
Cheryl Goldsleger’s paintings, drawings and three-dimensional works are an exploration into the inescapable relationship individuals and societies have with place and location, and the myriad forces at work upon the landscape and its inhabitants. She offers her viewers unique vantage points from which they might understand these visible and invisible forces at play, suggesting that these are mutually dependent yet in constant states of flux - complex and ever-shifting.
My paintings, drawings and three-dimensional works are an exploration into the inescapable relationship individuals and societies have with place and location. When envisioning various sites, I imagine the myriad forces at work upon the landscape and its inhabitants. As socio-economic events and natural phenomena unfold, viewers are offered unique vantage points from which to understand the visible and invisible forces at play. Although the networks of relationships may not always be apparent, linear, or distinct, links exist, and connections and possibilities can be inferred. Visualizing webs of connections between positive and negative, animate and inanimate, natural and synthetic, and tranquil and turbulent, I visually suggest that these are mutually dependent yet in constant states of flux - complex and ever-shifting.
In these works, perception merges with proprioception - an awareness of our body in space - with attention to movements and changes in an evolving landscape. They are not static. Proprioception and unusual perspectives are particularly important, generating tension while fostering empathy when they coalesce. By immersing viewers in these situations, one can imagine how others feel in these conditions.
In planning my compositions, I weave together fragments that I have gathered from research, reading, travel and more, with how I react to that information and how I imagine it impacts others. My paintings develop in layers, accruing marks that, at different stages, must be selectively removed to reveal the foundation of lines and forms created in their earlier stages of development. The initial composition becomes submerged during this process as brushstrokes and color are added atop the original framework. Many more layers, additions, subtractions and revisions eventually allow the final image to emerge. In many ways, the process is a metaphor for the content.
Meteorologist Edward Lorenz stated, “When a butterfly flutters its wings in one part of the world, it can eventually cause a hurricane in another.” In my work, I strive to immerse the viewer in these places and in so doing, address these interrelationships and create an understanding of their chaotic ramifications in our increasingly smaller, interconnected global society.
Cheryl Goldsleger’s artworks in her exhibition, Paradox, continue her exploration of the relationships individuals and societies have with place and location. When envisioning various compositions, Goldsleger imagines the myriad forces at work upon a site and its inhabitants. Viewers are offered unique perspectives and are encouraged to immerse themselves in order to understand the webs of visible and invisible connections affecting our interconnected, global society.
Cheryl Goldsleger received her BFA from Philadelphia College of Art (now The University of the Arts) and her MFA from Washington University with additional study at Tyler School of Art’s program in Rome, Italy. She has an extensive exhibition record both nationally and abroad, including the European Cultural Centre’s 2019 Venice Art Biennale (Italy), The National Academy of Sciences (DC), the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters (NY), The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (GA), the Krannert Museum (IL), the Montclair Art Museum (NJ), the North Carolina Museum of Art (NC), The Institute of Contemporary Art (PA), the Israel Museum (Israel), and the High Museum (GA).
Goldsleger is a 2020 recipient of a Porter Fleming Foundation Artist Grant and previously received two senior Artists Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as other regional and state artist’s grants. Her work has been discussed in an extensive list of publications including Art in America, Artforum, The Hudson Review, The New York Observer, Burnaway, and ArtNet Magazine. Her international residencies at the La Napoule Foundation, France, a US/France Exchange Fellowship in Paris, and artist residencies in Italy have provided invaluable resources for her work.
Her artwork is represented in important museum collections including the Albright-Knox Gallery (NY); the Brooklyn Museum (NY); The Fogg Museum at Harvard University; the Greenville County Museum (SC); the Herbert F. Johnson Museum at Cornell University (NY); the High Museum (GA); The Israel Museum (Israel); the Museum of Modern Art, (NY); the New Orleans Museum (LA); the North Carolina Museum of Art (NC); the Tel Aviv Museum (Israel); and Yale University Art Gallery (CT); among other important public and private collections. Goldsleger’s public project Crossroads is a permanent mosaic tile floor installation in Terminal A of the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia.
View the Artalk: February 14, 2022
View the Artalk: February 2, 2022
Working with mass media imagery, Hedwig Brouckaert’s art refers to its distorted messages of desire and identity, totally transforming the original narrative. In doing this she reflects on mortality and the vanity of life in the hyper-consumer world of today.
As a teenager, I fantasized about painting all billboards black - and hijacking commercial images. Working with mass media imagery, my work refers to its distorted messages of desire and identity, but totally transforms the original narrative.
I am interested in the tension between the highly representational starting point, and the illegible and condensed result of my layering process. Using drawing, digital printing, collage, and installation, I create abstract and tactile work out of what once was commercial, banal material. As a memento mori, I reflect on mortality and the vanity of life in the hyper-consumer world of today.
‘Peel - America’ is a recent series of work of collage on commercial ceramic and marble tiles. From mainstream magazines like Vogue, with its over-produced images of whiteness that mask the inequalities in our society, I cut out models’ skin and layer it over and over with glue and acrylic paint to create a bas relief on tiles. I sand, cut, and carve with sharp tools to reveal the deeper layers beneath. The skins peel, uncovering strange patterns and melting boundaries.
Hedwig Brouckaert grew up in Flanders, Belgium, and has been living in NYC since 2011. She received an MFA from the University of California, Davis after completing a Masters in sculpture at the Sint-Lukas Hogeschool in Brussels, and a Postgraduate at the Higher Institute for Fine Arts in Belgium. Brouckaert received numerous grants from the Flemish Government in Belgium, and fellowships of the NYFA Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program, the Rockefeller Foundation – Bellagio (IT), Liguria Study Center Bogliasco (IT), Cité Internationale des Arts Paris, Hafnarborg Museum of Iceland, Yaddo (NY), Anderson Ranch (CO), Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and FLACC (BE). Her work has appeared in numerous exhibitions throughout the US and internationally, including ‘Re/pro/ducing Complexity’ curated by Peter Lodermeyer with work by Jorinde Voigt and Nelleke Beltjens at the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens (BE), Städtische Galerie Villa Zanders (DE), Bangkok Art and Culture Center (TH), VOLTA NY with Jan Dhaese Gallery (2014 & 2018), Kentler International Drawing Space (NY), Kunstraum (NY), Project:ARTspace (NY), ChaShaMa (NY), Murray State University (KY), and Pallazo Vendramin Costa (Venice IT). Brouckaert’s work has been discussed in magazines and papers such as the Brooklyn Rail, the New York Times, Blackbook, ArtSpiel, Uncovered, the ArtCouch, and KunstHart (BE).
Greg Banks: An Explanation of Sympathetic Magic
November 1 - November 24
From the surrealistic imagery of The Precautionary Tale of The Goatman to the palpable memories of After The Family Farm, Greg Banks’ images weave a tapestry of family, folklore and the subconscious. Family photos combine a personal narrative with the folkloric history of the Appalachian Mountains of Eastern Kentucky.
God, witches, devils, mythical creatures, speaking in tongues, snake and fire handling, and raising the dead all exist in the Appalachian Mountains of Eastern Kentucky. For this body of work, I am appropriating family photographs, as well as vernacular images, to tell supernatural stories about my family history and the region from which I come. My work weaves together a personal narrative with the folkloric history of that area. Photoshop and the unpredictability of smart phone applications are used in a similar way to how a folktale unfolds. Each app is manipulating the story as a person might exaggerate a tale when they pass it along. By assembling family photographs and appropriating historical images, I am constructing stories with contemporary tools for manipulation and passing them along as visual folklore.
Greg Banks is a photo-based artist and instructor at Appalachian State University. He received his MFA in photography from East Carolina University in May 2017. He received a B.A. in photography and a B.A. in fine art from Virginia Intermont College in 1998. Banks was a top 200 finalist in Photo Lucida’s Critical Mass in 2018. He was one of only seven artists chosen for the Light Factory’s Annuale 9 in 2017. Banks’ work was among the top 5 most popular on the online magazine “Don’t Take Pictures” in 2017. His work can be found in publications such as Jill Enfield’s Guide to Photographic Alternative Processes, 2nd edition. Greg combines iPhone images and historic 19th century processes, gelatin silver printing, painting and digital printing. His current creative practice investigates family, folklore, memories, magic and Appalachia, as well as history and religion.
Charles W. Goolsby: Familiar Territory September 27 - October 23
I am transformed by my surroundings. My paintings are initially designed from an exploration of the environment in which I live. Partly informed by traditions of 19th-century American landscape painting, abstract expressionism, and neo-expressionism, my process transforms the landscape that inspires me into images that become intense psychological dramas.
The process for my work involves going out on location and making sketches and photographs. I use these source materials to develop my final compositions into the paintings. I am interested in paint as a physical material, which leads me to approach canvases with a gestural and liberal handling of the medium. Physicality and richness are two characteristics of oil paint and I wish to exploit them to their fullest extent.
I contrast geometric and the organic elements with activated brushwork in my paintings to develop a sense of tension and anxiety. Gestural brush marks colliding with trees and dappled reflected lights contrasting against aggressively sweeping concrete are examples of this basic organic-geometric opposition that is embodied in my work. In addition, I am fascinated with issues of space and the dynamics it has to offer in terms of illusionary depth within the picture plane. I am continuously searching for a personal, convincing and restricted color palette that is effective in delivering an emotional punch.
The selections I make are chosen because of a subconscious affinity I have to the subjects and forms that interest me. The themes that dominate my work are speed, confrontation, crossing borders, transitions, compression, isolation, reflection, fear, and collision. Mystery, monumentality, and ambiguity are key components of my work.
— Charles W. Goolsby
Richard Whitten: Grand Illusions August 23 - September 18
Richard Whitten’s paintings are meant to be games– games to be played in the imagination. He invites the viewer to interact with the painting by visually exploring the image and “touching” the objects depicted in it, challenging them to decipher the “rules” to propel the objects into “motion”.
The paintings, ranging from palm-sized to mural-sized shaped panels, fall into two categories: those that depict invented toys or machines in imagined classical architecture and those that act as game-boards themselves.
Matt Wilt: Plans and Contingencies February 15 - March 13
An artist who draws inspiration from ancient vessels and other historical ceramics is featured currently in the McGlothlin Center Art Gallery at Emory & Henry College,
Matt Wilt’s exhibition, Plans and Contingencies, also is inspired by the “flotsam and jetsam of contemporary culture,” according to the artist.
While Wilt’s work in this exhibition is less vessel-oriented, those historical works continue to feed his ideas, which is demonstrated through forms that suggest a specific function or use, albeit a hybrid of the known world with a less concrete reality.
This newer work also draws from a catalog of forms that are suggestive in nature. “In Philip Rawson’s book, Ceramics, he refers to memory traces, and the power of forms to evoke thoughts and memories,” said Wilt. “This is similar to the way we associate colors with emotional states or meanings. By incorporating forms that are symbolic and suggestive, I attempt to engage the viewer in a process of decoding.”
Most recently, Wilt has become intrigued by art that synthesizes the human body with the mechanical forms of the manmade world, connecting threads that link elements of history, culture and what it is to be human.
These forms, as manufactured objects replicating natural functions, act as substitutes for nature. “I find this composite of the physical body and the synthetic world simultaneously fascinating and frightening,” Wilt said. “Through this line of inquiry, I am conscious of the connecting threads that link the many disparate elements of history, culture, and what it is to be human.”
Wilt holds a master of fine arts degree from Ohio University in Athens. He has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including two Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grants, an Illinois Arts Council fellowship, and the Evelyn Shapiro Foundation fellowship.
His artwork can be found in the collections of the Crocker Museum of Art in Sacramento, the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco, Arizona State University’s Ceramic Research Center, the Hand Art Center of Stetson University, the Kennedy Museum of American Art, and numerous private collections.
View the Artalk: February 15, 2021