WILSON, N.C., — Now on view in the Barton Art Galleries are works by the faculty of the Department of Art and Design at Barton College. The month-long show features the artwork of professors who not only teach but also actively pursue and exhibit their own art, nationally and internationally. The show includes the works of Ben Bridgers, Susan Fecho, Mark Gordon, Gerard Lange, and Maureen O’Neill, as well as artist-in-residence and professor emeritus J. Chris Wilson. This group exhibition highlights the diversity of the art faculty and showcases paintings, drawings, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, and photographs. A gallery reception will be held on Friday, Oct. 26 from 5-7 p.m. The fall exhibition will run through Friday, Nov. 2.
A series of gallery talks also will be presented throughout the month, featuring individual art faculty. The schedule includes Ben Bridgers from 12:30-1 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 15; Mark Gordon from 11-11:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 19; Gerard Lange at 12:30-1 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 23; Maureen O’Neal from 12:30-1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24; and Susan Fecho from 4:30 – 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 29.
Ben Bridgers’ oils on canvas, such as “Amo” and “San Lorenzo,” explore “a curiosity with the magic, mystery, and perversity of nature,” as Bridgers explains. “Often the imagery is inexplicable, where the juxtaposition or placement of an object or idea is believable to a certain point. I strive to create a space that is intangible.” Receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting from Barton College, Bridgers earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Drawing from the University of Georgia’s Lamar Dodd School of Art. He has held academic appointments at universities throughout the United States and Italy. Bridgers joined the faculty at Barton College this fall as an associate professor of art. His work has been exhibited in various galleries and museums at the national and international level and is held in both public and private collections in the United States, Italy, and Japan.
Susan Fecho is a printmaker/surface designer with a Master of Fine Arts degree from East Carolina University. Her works have been shown both nationally and internationally as well as in a variety of publications. Fecho is exhibiting images from her new series “Along the Crooked Road.” Ranging from graphite, encaustic to textiles, figurative and architecture, vernacular imagery “seeks to interpret the past as a personal, cultural and archetypal artifact,” Fecho explains. “While developing the concept for artwork based on the centuries-old historic architectural imagery located along the winding roads of the Tidewater region to the Appalachians, I began to study the area’s entire aesthetic experience.” Fecho is a professor of art and chair of the Department of Art and Design at Barton College and makes her home in historic Tarboro.
Mark Gordon, an associate professor of art at Barton College, is showcasing ceramics and sculpture. Gordon shares, “The physicality of clay, along with its remarkable ability to freeze action and respond to physical impact or retain any fleeting impression, immediately and permanently captured my interest. Clay is a universal medium; potters’ vessels have formed an essential part of material culture.” Describing one of his works in the exhibition, he further explains, “The jagged and uneven surfaces of ‘Pyramid Triangle’ were developed to evoke the effects of geological erosion.” The piece is a series of diminutive modular clay pyramids assembled and brushed with a series of glazes. Gordon received his Master of Fine Arts degree in Studio Art from Ohio State University, and he has worked with clay for nearly 40 years. He has held numerous art residencies across the nation as well as in Caracas, Cairo, Madrid, Jerusalem, and La Romana (Dominican Republic).
Gerard Lange, exhibiting mixed media and found object assemblages such as “Shadows of Discourse,” is trained in the areas of sculpture, drawing, and photography. Lange worked as a professional photographer before acquiring his Master of Fine Arts degree from Tulane University, From there, Lange began his teaching career at Northern Michigan University and later joined the faculty of Barton College. He works in whatever media he sees fit for a particular project, including traditional fine art materials and photography, sometimes coupled with digital imagery and sculpture. “Photography is largely a medium responsive to observation more than conceptualization,” Lange explains. “Sure, one might imbue a particular image with forethought, planning and insight, but the execution of the image is done solely by the acts of looking and responding to that which is observed.” His works have been shown both nationally and internationally as well as in a variety of publications and journals.
Maureen O’Neill, a native of Massachusetts, finds her artistic niche in painting and drawing. O’Neill is exhibiting pastels and oil on canvas in this exhibition. She earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting at the Rhode Island School of Design, and, in 2006, she moved to Tarboro. She continues to teach part time at Barton, Wesleyan, and Edgecombe County Colleges. She is currently spearheading a fundraising campaign to raise money for children’s arts programs in Edgecombe County. Maintaining a studio in Tarboro, O’Neill shares, “My work relies on my remaining awake to ‘everyday moments of seeing’ that leave an impression for me to retrieve later in the studio. In the process of making work, I ask myself, ‘Is it true, or not?’ always reworking images, layer upon layer, until it, the thing that lingers within my visual memory, once again emerges, holds, and settles onto the paper or canvas.”
Professor Emeritus J. Chris Wilson has served on the Barton College faculty for 38 years and now continues as the College’s first artist-in-residence. He earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Georgia, where he also completed post-graduate work, with Lamar Dodd as his major professor. Exhibiting oils on canvas in this show, Wilson is a post-abstract realist who has paintings in hundreds of collections in the United States, England, Japan, and Saudia Arabia. He is currently working on a 100-painting series, “From Murphy to Manteo—An Artist’s Scenic Journey,” of which a number of works are on view at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh. Wilson shares, “Although I began a journey seeking only to represent North Carolina scenic landscapes, I have, in fact, found something of myself reflected in these scenes, and I sincerely hope that viewers might find something of themselves reflected there also.”
For additional information about this exhibition, please contact Bonnie LoSchiavo, in the Barton Art Galleries, at 252-399-6477 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions? Please contact Kathy Daughety, director of public relations at Barton College, at 252-399-6529 or email: email@example.com.