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No Tricks, Just Treats This Halloween at Guilford

October 23, 2014

October 31 is fast approaching. While you are planning your costume and making social plans for All Hallow’s Eve, be sure to leave some room in your schedule for the 5th Alumni Art Exchange.

artDon’t worry, the art-related festivities will be over before dark. The impact, however, will be sure to stick with you throughout the weekend and beyond.

The exchange will include the appearance of Charlotte Fitz Daniels ’91, Molly Sawyer ’95, Ailene Howell ’04, Matt Shelton ’04, Jessica Brooke Anderson ’07, Julia Hood ’06, Gracelee Lawrence ’11, Jack Arthur Wood ’12, and possibly others.

It’s not just your typical meet and greet- be prepared for hands-on activities and direct engagement with these inspiring folks.

Here’s a run-down of Friday’s schedule:

  • A collaborative art making project will be held bright and early, from 9am to 12pm in the second floor of Hege-Cox. (Special surprise: the final product will be displayed sometime later in the day!)
  • Next up, senior thesis students can head to Hildebrandt House for a studio visit/critique with participating alums
  • You definitely won’t want to miss an alumni Q&A from 2-3:20pm in the print studio of Hege-Cox- some topics covered will be applying to grad school, finding an art-related career, maintaining your work/life balance, etc.
  • Drop in to the library from 4-5pm to hear alumni artists talking about their work
  • A reception in the main gallery will follow, snacks included! If you wander outside to the lawn, you can find live jazz and maybe free wine! (For those of age, of course.)

If you can muster up the energy Saturday morning, there is much more fun to be had. For four whole hours starting at 12pm, Ailene Howell ’04 and Julia Hood ’06 will be leading demonstrations on printing. You can even make your own to take home with you.

I strongly urge you to attend a portion of the festivities if you cannot be there for all. There is something to be learned from every opportunity being offered next weekend- especially if you are an art major.

The exchange will provide you with a network of resources as well as a newfound support system. Moving through the world as an art major can be tough and scary.

Others may question your decision. You may question yourself. For these reasons and more, witnessing and speaking to others who have been in your position can be very helpful.

These alums were once where you are now. Today they are all thriving as practicing artists. If that’s not inspiration, I don’t know what is.

Be sure to mark your calendars for the art exchange, a week from tomorrow!

Here and There: With Justin Poe (’12)

October 9, 2014

fall143Guilford alum Justin Poe (’12) is a man of versatility. You can find his work both at Guilford and around Greensboro. His sculpture (left) is currently featured in the Alumni Art Exhibit in Hege Library. While this piece is only on display until December, his vibrant mural (right) can be enjoyed at any time. It is covering the front wall of the Interactive Resource Center in downtown Greensboro. Be sure to check out Justin’s work!

The Art of Procrastination

October 8, 2014

Hello folks!

This is perhaps an unconventional article to this blog, and hopefully not too much so. However, it is not a coincidence that this article was posted a day after my intended deadline. Coming into fall break I am finally almost completely caught up, I am reflecting on what went wrong. This semester has gotten the best of me so far, and my procrastination has seemingly taunted me mockingly, even as I genuinely want to do well and excel in each of my ventures.

Like art, there’s always a process, and it is almost always unique. Whether you spend the time doodling, staring out a window, surfing social media, or hanging out with friends way too late, and even when the “medium” is the same, it’s a different experience and each person’s life, or work or art, is altered accordingly. Many seem to equate procrastination with laziness and apathy, but those that just cant seem to start writing until they have sharpened every pencil in the drawer know that it takes a lot of work to procrastinate well.


Procrastination itself, too, can be a catalyst for more art. One putting off assignments or deadlines will find other activities to occupy their time. Many times these might be unfinished projects or low level to do items. This helps justify the procrastination because at least something is getting done. Although it is not visual art, my own procrastination last week led to me spilling a lot of my emotion onto paper in the form of poetry. I even found myself further procrastinating that evening, attending an open mic to read it out loud.

Now, I would never encourage one to procrastinate, but if you are one to do it, there is an art to not letting it get the best of you..

First and foremost, never lose eight of what you need to accomplish. Even if you let it taunt you from the middle of a three week old to do list, it needs to remain present in your consciousness or it will slip through the cracks. Procrastination is a slippery slope, and you can bury yourself so deep in work if you’re not careful that you won’t know which way is up.

Secondly, set deadlines closer than the actual deadlines. Padding your time in this way allows you to keep yourself focused and on track, but builds in a cushion for the people expecting the work from you. Clearly, this requires enough time management skills to do in the first place and some reasonable personal accountability for not just dismissing the deadline as arbitrary.

Third, communicate! It is easy for missed deadlines to look like apathy and if someone is expecting work from you and thinks you don’t care, and it isn’t going to leave anyone involved feeling as though their time was valued. If you are going to be late, say so. An excuse, especially a fabricated one, is likely unnecessary. However, the lack of communication can leave the people expecting your work feeling disrespected and as though you’re not on board.

Fourth, and this is a big one, Don’t take on too much! Sometimes, we commit or agree to do too much, and it affects our energy levels and schedules negatively when we do. If even then, time can be found to do everything, quality often suffers as a result. It is better to reschedule or get a rain check for something that will set you back or distract you from your most important goals.

Last but not least, at some point, you have to stop procrastinating. This is often the hardest step and no one method works every time. Sometimes you have just sufficiently crossed off every menial task except the big one, sometimes the motivation just hits you, but more likely than not you have to convince yourself, whether you believe it or not, that you’ve procrastinated enough.

Like any work of art, too much medium or careless brushstrokes can undoubtedly ruin the whole thing and make a huge mess in the process. Be intentional, try to stay organized, and don’t let the stress of it swallow you whole. Sometimes taking a little time to do something that fuels you makes it easier to not procrastinate, even though that activity may itself feel like procrastinating. Clearly, this is a murky subject that affects artists and scholars alike, so if you or anyone you know has any tips or tricks to avoid or combat procrastination pitfalls, please comment below!

Sell Your Art for Profit at Spartan Trader!

October 2, 2014

Imagine you walk into a store. Local, handmade goods line the shelves. Intricate woven bracelets alternate with hand-knit scarves. Pottery and sculptures intercept. A rack of screen-printed shirts catch your eye, each with a unique design. Your gaze is drawn upwards to a canvas on the wall. It is one of your favorite pieces in the store. The signature at the bottom is yours.

This scenario does not have to be a fantasy thanks to Spartan Trader- a sustainable consignment shop located on UNCG’s campus. Spartan Trader works with local artisans to both support their work and provide local products to the Greensboro community.

uncgArtists of any sort are notoriously prolific- especially if they are an art student. For those of you with lots of finished projects lying around, you may feel that selling them is the perfect solution to the buildup.

Rather than letting them collect dust, let them collect profit!

Even if you aren’t the over-abundant type, Spartan Trader is worth looking into. Bringing your pieces there is a good way to get your name out. Who knows, you might even develop a following!

The good news is that Spartan Trader is not at all picky about what you sell. As long as it is made by you (and not offensive), it is pretty much good to go. One thing to note is that Spartan Trader prefers art made with eco-conscious materials as part of their “sustainability” efforts.local

The next best part is that there is no fee to sell. You can consign your products for absolutely free.

But here’s a downside: if the product sells, Spartan Trader gets 30% of the profit. Sure it could be worse, but money is money- and 30% can have quite an impact on your final earnings. Depending on the initial price of your goods, you may decide that this cost is not even worth it.

There are many Guilford students currently making sculptures, paintings, jewelry and more. You may be one of them. If so, it’s time you expanded your outreach beyond Guilford. Everyone may love what you make, but after a while you are merely preaching to the choir.

Bringing your work off-campus (and to a different school, at that) will give you the recognition that your craft deserves!

Don’t be thrown off by the fact that the store is affiliated with another college. They have stated outright that they welcome artists from other Triad schools. Check out their consignment program to fulfill their wishes and yours!

Drop by Spartan Trader (Monday through Friday 11am-7pm or Saturday 12pm-5pm) to inquire about selling your own handmade products. At the least, you’ll go home with experience. And even better, perhaps a few bucks and some new recognition.

“Perspectives from Palestine” Fill Founders

September 25, 2014


Check  out Double Vision: Perspectives from Palestine by Todd Drake in Upstairs Founders until

October 22!

Greensboro’s newest creative space: The Forge!

September 23, 2014

Greensboro is home to a new space called The Forge They can also be found on Facebook. Cast in the shadow of maker spaces before it, The Forge is first and foremost a community. It provides a space where people from all walks of life can come together and share space, resources, and ideas. Open 24/7, The Forge is bound to be a hub of creativity and innovation that isn’t intended for artists alone, but one in which many could really benefit from.

Stocked with everything from welding equipment to lathes to 3d printers and laser engravers, The Forge has more than enough tools to keep a creative mind busy with a multitude of mediums to work with, and more than enough space to do so.

laser engraving of Greensboro skyline
Even though The Forge has only been open a couple months, it is already being tapped by members of the art community. Whitfield, pictured below, was the first person to use the space to create something. He has been building instruments, including the bass guitar he is pictured with at The Forge. Bob Johnson, on October 18th at 2pm will be teaching a class on how to make instruments out of recycled materials such as cigar boxes or firm reels. Stop by to see how he does it, or even just to hear him play!


Although classes are limited to members only, there is plenty of time between now and then to become a member. Although their website does not advertise it specifically, the membership fee of 45 dollars a month may be cost-prohibitive to some students, but they also offer a student level membership without voting rights for just $25 a month.

I, for one, am very excited to see the Forge grow and thrive in this city, and I expect to see it do so. I hope the artist community as a whole benefits from this unique and innovative space. The possibilities are endless, and the community surrounding the Forge is just beginning to come together. With less than a hundred members, it is an exciting time to get involved with an organization I expect to be doing big things in the creative community and beyond in the very near future.

Drink & Draw at Geeksboro Coffeehouse Cinema

September 18, 2014

Are you looking for something to do in the greater Greensboro area? Perhaps an outlet for your pent up creative energy? Then look no further than Geeksboro Coffeehouse Cinema.


Every Wednesday from 7-9pm they offer an event called Drink & Draw- “a chance for graphic artists to meet one another, practice and hone their craft, and draw original artwork which they can share with the community.” As if this venue wasn’t cool enough.

Drink & Draw is exactly what it sounds like- drinking (alcohol optional) whilst drawing using a variety of art supplies that are provided for you by host Michole Miller.

But wait, here’s the best part. Once you’re done with your art, send it to the Geeksboro scanner to be posted on their Facebook wall for the world to see.

(Or at least anyone invested in the world of social media…)


“Soda Pop Cowboy”

These people- yourself included- can then vote on the artwork they like the best. If you’re art gets the most “likes” that week, you receive a FREE coffee drink. That’s right, absolutely free.

Art, drinks and camaraderie sound like my kind of party, so I decided to check Drink & Draw out for myself.


“Food For Thought”

When I arrived, I met Michole and “the regulars”- those who come out weekly to participate. I could see there was a great amount of talent among them, but that should not serve as discouragement for anyone looking to join. The group encourages new members of all skill sets.

Additionally, they welcome you at any time of the night. So stay the whole two hours or stop by and sketch for 30 minutes- it’s totally your call!


“Back to School”

The weekly theme can be wildly specific or painfully vague. Some prior themes have been “Waking Up in Strange Places” and “Cold Blooded” (in addition to what’s represented in the images above).

The night I attended, the theme was simply “Figures”. Imagine all the places you can go with that! If you are intrigued, be sure to browse through the Facebook archive in the next week or so for the full collection.

If Drink & Draw sounds like something you would be into, drop by Geeksboro any Wednesday night for some fun. And don’t forget to vote for your favorite!

Photos: Aaron Silvers via Flickr; Drawings: Geeksboro Facebook page


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