Barton Showcases Faculty Art in the Galleries

WILSON, N.C. — The Barton Art Galleries at Barton College presents the “2007 Faculty Art Exhibition,” on view now through September 25th. This exhibition of work by Barton art faculty includes sculpture, installation art, painting, photography, and book art. A reception for the artists will be held on Thursday, Sept. 20th from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. This event is open to the public at no charge, and the community is invited to attend.

Mark Gordon, associate professor of art, has included in his presentation of work some traditional wares, but he also is showcasing a temporary site-specific installation titled, “Drum.” The sculpture, which resembles a WWII beach fortification, is ominous filling most of the Virginia Thompson Graves Gallery. Created from wood reclaimed from the old Smith Warehouse in downtown Wilson, this installation rises from the floor to a height of about 10 feet, where a heavy cable suspends a large industrial steel-mesh drum a mere half inch above the floor. The metal vessel contains 149 pinch-pots made during four years of teaching demonstrations. “Pinch pots are a meditative exercise,” Gordon said. “They are humble and delicate, which contrasts the primitive industrial nature of the structure.”

Also on view in the Graves Gallery are the paintings of J. Chris Wilson, professor of art, from his series “100 Scenic Views Along the Murphy to Manteo Highway — A Portrait of North Carolina.” These paintings, ranging in size from medium to large, depict serene wilderness scenes from across the state. Wilson shared that the scenes were captured along US Highway 64, recognized as the longest road in North Carolina. The scenes stretch from the westernmost town of Murphy to the easternmost town of Manteo on the coast, not including the Outer Banks. Wilson’s selection of work on exhibit will eventually become part of a much larger group of studies, drawings, and 100 finished paintings. His wonderful use of atmospheric perspective draws the viewer into the depicted spaces. There is a sense of solitude in the images, yet a solitude where the viewer feels pensive in the majesty of the landscape. “While my apparent goal is to create paintings of scenic drama, the essential goal is to create works with variety that communicate mood and place and use abstract design strategies and contemporary surface and paint application techniques,” Wilson said.

On exhibit in the Lula E. Rackley Gallery are the works of Gérard Lange, assistant professor of art, and Susan Fecho, professor of art and chair of the Art Department. Lange presents 24 photographs, all taken in the city of Wilson over the summer. His series titled “WILSON NC” is made up of brightly colored images depicting buildings, which Lange considers to be timeless depictions of the city. On closer inspection, the viewer may notice that the buildings seem to be unusually isolated; some even take on the appearance of models rather than actual structures. “I intentionally altered the perspective, making the buildings look almost too perfect,” shared Lange. “I wanted to create a pun on the phrase ‘model community’ in which someone’s ideal perception of a place is matched by the picture before them.”

Fecho’s work also focuses on the urban environment. This summer, she traveled to Italy where she studied the blending of contemporary and historic art and architecture. Through a daily routine, she would notate cultural designs by means of collection — making rubbings of surfaces, photographing, and drawing the places she visited. Her collage-like banners and an artist book titled “The Traveled Landscape” were the result of these observations. “I’m looking at changes happening to the landscape and to the people in the landscape,” said Fecho. “It is more of a documentary of time, not a negative or positive statement.” Her images compare and contrast how technology and the modern world incorporate rather than take over Italian cities. Fecho noted, “Designers in Italy move forward, but with respect for history.” “Modern changes are merely a skin over the façade.”

The Barton Art Galleries are located in Case Art Building on the Barton College campus. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Questions? Please contact Kathy Daughety, director of public relations, at 252-399-6529 or email: