Wednesday, March 26, 2008
My Pear Tree
Thank you all for your kind comments yesterday! The reception was truly lovely -- and more -- an hour program of the history of 'visiting artists' in the North Carolina community college system, which the outgoing system president (and others) would like to see resurrected. Performances were given by the grammy- nominated jazz singer, Nneena Freelon, followed by a reading by Joseph Bathanti, (whose recently published book "They Changed the State: The Legacy of NC's Visiting Artists 1971-1995" was given to each of us), and a banjo-accompanied folk song by Jan Davidson, president of the Campbell Folk School.
Artists whose work now bedecked the six story building on the North Carolina government complex, were acknowledged, as the president of the Community College System recounted the history of this annual event. He told us that the first such event he created when he took office eleven years ago, had him choosing from 300 entries (President Lancaster alone makes all the art decisions as well as their placement in the building); this year, he chose a total of just under 150 paintings, sculptures, quilts, stained glass, baskets, clay, etc, from 2,000 entries. (I was astronished!)
The visiting dignitaries, friends, and artists were then invited to tour the building to see all the art --and it was INCREDIBLE! From student work to instructor work to faculty submissions -- the variety, the talent, the BEAUTY was inspirational! I have to admit, I felt like such an amateur among all those professional looking, polished pieces ... sigh ... but more surprising to me -- there were only THREE watercolor pieces -- one of which, was mine. The other two ... one was actually mixed media with watercolor, and the other painted with watercolor pencils. AMAZING!
What I learned during this tour --- There is a tremendous amount of digital art and photography being taught in our colleges. There are pockets of traditional artisans ...for such work as quilts and pottery. There seems to be a preponderance of oil paintings, and for those in our community colleges, only a handful doing watercolors ......
Lastly, I must must must!!!! paint larger!
Thank you again, for your kindest well wishes and for all your generous encouragement!