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PITH | 2015 Online!

May 12, 2015

Hello there! Long time, no posts!
It’s been quite a bit of a break between posts on here, and you certainly haven’t heard from me in a while, but I write to you now to offer you the chance to check out the 2015 Senior Thesis show, PITH, without even leaving your home. You don’t even have to be wearing pants, but that’s your decision, ultimately.  Go get yourself some refreshing snacks, perhaps a beverage, and allow me to guide you through “PITH Online”, a conglomerate of Hand/Eye and the artist’s e-portfolios – I hope you enjoy your browse!


pith (n) – the essence of something

It was a wondrous opening night, with the upstairs galleries and atrium of Founders Hall jam-packed with community members who came out to support our senior thesis students. The attendees were as diverse as the artwork: Familiar and unfamiliar faces converged to create an absolute sea of people. The atrium is the space the stairs lead you into, so you are greeted first by Samantha Saatzer‘s paintings and Samantha Metzner‘s photography.

Saatzer’s thesis work is a “series of portraits that embody a silent dialogue of human emotion and expression influenced by her personal connection to the people she paints.”

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Metzner’s work “expands on a combination of contemporary identity theories, personal encounters with intimacy, and a rich history of alternative photographic processes.”

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After perusing around the atrium, you end up back at the staircase. Let’s hang a right into our one of the two galleries. Here, you’ll find Eleanora Keene and Gloria Taylor-Williams‘ paintings.

Keene “draws from life experiences and travels to create vivid landscapes that reflect her personal connection with the natural world.”

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Taylor-Williams’ work is comprised of “portraits and stories about [her] family and friends,” seeking a deeper connection with her subjects – “Their faces carry the key to their secrets.”

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Now, you exit this gallery and cross the atrium once more in order enter the second gallery. You open the door to see the works of Isabel Ramirez, Margaret Flath, and Raina Martens.

Ramirez’s mixed media works involve found object assemblage. “Her thesis reveals an array of unexpected, sculptural relationships between the preserved and manipulated elements of decay. She incorporates a collection of structures that illuminate the surreal dynamics of mental illness.”

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Flath’s body of thesis work is “comprised of a variety of functional forms meant for daily use—mugs, jars, and jugs. She loves the process of wood firing, communicating her passion through her crosshatched pieces.”

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Martens’ work “uses glaze chemistry and functional ceramic forms to transform coal ash collected from the Dan River in Eden, NC. Martens explores material and corporeal realities of contemporary life by facilitating aesthetic and intimate encounters with this toxic material.”

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You’ve now experienced the pith of PITH|2015! To view more of the senior thesis work and read the artists’ full statements and biographies, simply log onto Digication with your credentials and click these links:

Samantha Saatzer
Samantha Metzner
Eleanora Keene
Gloria Taylor-Williams
Isabel Ramirez
Margaret Flath
Raina Martens

To those of you who asked for this online showcase of the exhibit, thank you for your interest in seeing Guilford students’ artwork even though you are too far away to visit. You are still a vital part of our community, and hopefully this has at least somewhat made up for not being able to see the show in person! Please feel free to generate discussion regarding the work and congratulate the artists on their dedication and work in the comments below!

Have a magical summer, Guilfordians, and congratulations to the class of 2015!


Maintaining Your Work Over Winter Break

December 11, 2014

Thomas Hawk via Flickr


As the semester comes to an end, a rush of relaxation fills most students’ bodies and minds. It is finally time to be free- from deadlines, meetings, obligations.

But what will we do with all this free time? Sure, a month and a half can go by pretty fast. Especially with holidays and vacations and perhaps short-term classes filling that void.

However, breaks are no excuse to veg out completely. While it can be easy to succumb to a lifetime of Netflix and extended naps, staying on top of your game will feel just as good, if not better. Our brains are muscles that must be worked consistently in order to maintain their strength.

So utilize your break! Without classes to distract you, there is more time to devote to your artistic intuition. I encourage you all to make the most of it- don’t let your practice fall by the wayside.

Here are some ideas for keeping your creative juices flowing while classes are out of session:

1. Keep a journal– Write down every intriguing thought or idea that you have. Even if it seems trivial at the time, it may become the backbone of a great future plan. There is something about physically writing that stimulates the imagination. Make doodles too, if it helps. Anything to get your visions down on paper is a great first step.


Kanghee Ree via Flickr


2. Make time– Pick at least one hour a week to devote to some creative process (such as painting, drawing, writing, sculpting, what have you). It’s so easy to go through a break with good intentions yet no drive, letting months go by with no actual progress. If you set a goal right off the bat, you are more likely to stick with it. Maybe you can even share your target with a friend to set up accountability.

3. Search for inspiration– Check out local galleries, shows and exhibits to remind you of your own expressive aim. If you are in the Greensboro area, check out the Greenhill Winter Show between December 7 and January 11. You could also head to The 205 Collaborative on the second Saturday of each month for a viewing and artist meet & greet. Those are just some happenings around the Triad- see what you can conjure up!


A montage from Greenhill’s Winter Show

4. Get back to the basics– Do simple activities that make you happy but that may seem mundane at this point in your life. Braid a bracelet. Draw in a coloring book. Take photos with an old, disposable camera. Anything like this is helpful in reconnecting you with why you love to make art in the first place. You are never too experienced to return to fundamentals.

*Even better: make a commitment to practice some elementary activity like those mentioned above for every single day of your break. Monotony and routine are good for cognition. Your brain will thank you for these simple exercises.

5. Find the like-minded– Join a MeetUp Group or event nearby to meet others with similar interests and objectives. has several art-related groups in Greensboro, such as Triad Art + Tech and The Artist Bloc. You can also peruse Craigslist or your local classifieds for artist hangouts, or you could even form one yourself!

I hope these suggestions help you and guide you through this long-awaited (and well-deserved) winter break. Devote your time to self-care and rejuvenation, but don’t forget to keep that brain sharp.

I wish you all a joyous and creative holiday season. See you next semester!

Curate your life!

December 2, 2014

An unassuming door sits to the right of Terry Hammond’s office. She is the Founding Director and the Curator of the Guilford College Art Gallery. Her office is buried in a quiet hallway on the lowest level of the Hege Library. I learned about the room this door leads to a few weeks ago when visiting her for another story.

I asked her for suggestions about other things we might cover and she opens this door, and explains it leads to a room where all the art for the gallery that is not on display is stored. Art exploded from every corner of the room, stacked carefully, hung neatly, and inventoried meticulously. None of it was on display, yet the care each piece had been handled with was apparent even at a glimpse.


I returned last week so I could write about it here. The most prominent feature in the room is a series of vertical metal racks which span most of the length of one side. The art on them is art that should be hung and about half of the racks were purchased by Guilford College, but quickly filled. More space was needed, but the budget was not there for more racks. Creative people are often great problem solvers, and so students helped reverse-engineer the racks and built more! If you look closely at the following picture, you can notice subtle differences between the two.


A chest of drawers sits on the left containing thousands of prints serves to keep paper art safe, flat, and stored properly. Behind the metal racks are hundreds of art pieces. This is where they store the 3D pieces, and the shelves are crowded with all kinds of exciting art!

lib3 lib4

Although this room sounds like a rare glimpse into the behind the scenes operations of the Art Gallery, Terry Hammond stressed that ANY student can request to see any piece that is not on display. Her passion for what she does shines through in your conversation with her and whether she is talking about past events or future plans, there is little doubt that she is sharing art with us because it’s what she loves.

Guilford’s art gallery contains pieces from all over the world, and each requires special care. Sometimes this is instruction by the artists about which order crayon filled bullet shells are in, sometimes it is to oil a wooden artifact, or sometimes it is just maintaining the piece as a gallery would, storing it within proper temperature and humidity.

Terry Hammond is not only in charge of the gallery, but she essentially created it. Like any great artist, she created her future instead of applying for it. There was no gallery before her, or an open position to fill. She had a vision and with a lot of hard work, dedication, and some funding, the gallery was born. Go enjoy it, and find inspiration for creating YOUR future. We’d love to hear what your favorite pieces are, so let us know!

New Pop-Up Art Gallery Comes to Greensboro

November 20, 2014

The thought of what the future holds is daunting for just about any college student. It doesn’t help that adults and peers alike feel it’s appropriate to pepper undergraduates with questions about their studies and how they plan to utilize them. There are a variety of paths that art students can follow post graduation- and perhaps before- but the common goal seems to be sharing one’s work for others to appreciate.


Just a few of the pieces Jeff had on display.

This is exactly what Jeff Beck was able to do this past First Friday at his pop-up art show titled “The Warehouse Diaries“. The makeshift gallery was inside of a revamped warehouse with the bay door rolled up, hence the name. The warehouse, located at 611 S. Elm Street, is owned by Kelly of Thousands O’ Prints. She plans to open up the space in the future for more artists to come and display their

The cool thing about this event is that it shows how easy it is to get your work out there and into the community. The prospect of getting accepted to a formal gallery is intimidating, to say the least. Pop-up galleries are a great way to get your feet wet without all the pressure of something larger. Hopefully, Beck’s exhibit proves that gaining publicity is more feasible than you may think.

Hey, maybe you can even use the warehouse for a future show of your own!


Kanye, anyone?

Not only did Beck have his completed art filling every available inch of the small space, but he also did some live painting at the event. He even provided free wine and beer for attendees. It was a fun event for all, and one that I hope will continue on in the future. It’s up to people like you to express interest and make it happen.

You can find Beck’s work at Menace Inc. Studios, a gallery/designer toy shop on Elam Avenue.

If you’re interested in using the venue for your own endeavor, you can contact Thousands O’ Prints at 336-275-8014.

The world of professional art promotion is within your reach! It is opportunities like this that make it so. Remember that as you proceed with your studies and creative projects.

Is Nature Art? Depends on how you look at it…

November 13, 2014

With Fall Break a full month behind us, and Thanksgiving break right around the corner, please take a moment to sit with season before winter moves in. The chill in the air has us hurrying to class, trying to stay warm, but campus is especially beautiful in the fall. The trees sway in the wind, erupting in brilliant oranges, reds, and yellows. Vigilant evergreens stand out, contrasting against the sunset colored leaves that let loose with each passing wind.

IS nature art? That’s a question I tried to answer with a story last week that ultimately fell short in doing so. While I’ve decided I’m not qualified to answer it on my own, I turned to the campus to bring the discussion to you.


Speaking with other students led me to hear about Maia Dery’s “Reflecting Nature” class. While I attempted to reach her, by press time she had not yet responded. However, her final project for her students is to create a structure merely out of objects from nature. One such project is being erected in the woods by a student named Kai. This, along with something Mark Dixon pointed out to me when trying to develop this story, “Our kilns are wood fired.” led me to think far beyond the aesthetic value of Fall and examine the relationship between art and nature much more closely and more abstractly. Not only are the trees dressed in breathtaking fall colors inspiration for many, but the fallen limbs cast aside by weather and time are actually part of the process too.

I knew this was not enough alone to support the idea that nature is art, so I went to the Fifth Juried Alumni Art Exhibition on display in the Library. I was stunned to see that of all the topics that could have been chosen for the pieces, nature was in the forefront of at least half the pieces, without even counting the items made of natural material like wooden handcrafted spoons and a hammered serving tray. From paintings of landscapes to a haunting photograph addressing climate change, to a ceramic cast of a seed taking growth (likely fired on the very same kilns) nature was both a subject and a material used to create art in an overwhelming number of the pieces. The first in the series of photos below struck me because of the wood both alive and harvested in a literal battle for space. These are just a sample of many more pieces, which I can’t recommend checking out enough!

IMG_0123 IMG_0120 IMG_0116IMG_0114


What do you think? To continue this conversation, here are a few events in the area to check out;

First, don’t miss the 5th Juried Alumni Art show, on display here at the Hege Library until December 7th. I mentioned just a few of the pieces in this conversation, so make sure to check out the rest!

Second, Deborah Squier has some beautiful landscape paintings on display at Ambleside Gallery  on 528 S. Elm St.

The artist statement included with the exhibit reads;

“What motivates my painting is a passionate love and respect for the natural order of things…the mystery of life in all its manifestations. Growing up in New England I was constantly immersed in nature. As the youngest of four children, I accompanied my father regularly on plein air painting outings. While he wrestled with the elements on canvas, I dove headfirst into them.

Thus began my love affair with the earth’s elements and I felt it in a personal and visceral way. This physical connection to the landscape was my apprenticeship and the real ground for the painting experience which I would take up later.

Nature is my most important Muse. I am her apprentice. I try to be present with all my senses. Somewhere between the direct experience and the unknowable mystery is the source of my inspiration.”

Last but not least, this week was the groundbreaking ceremony for a new park slated to open in 2016 downtown between the Public Library and the Greensboro Cultural Arts Center. The Carolyn and Maurice LeBauer Park is being created due to a $10 million dollar grant left in Carolyn’s honor.

“LeBauer Park will be a destination for people near and far to visit and enjoy recreational, cultural and educational events and activities together,” Mayor Nancy Vaughan said at the groundbreaking ceremony held yesterday. “That was [her] vision, and it’s a vision that becomes a reality for the city of Greensboro, starting with this groundbreaking.” While the park itself looks to be an exciting work of art, its features like an outdoor reading room, a dog park, and a performance pavilion are sure to bring community and art together. Below is a drawing the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro is using to promote the park.

Carolyn and Maurice LeBauer Park Drawing

Greensboro is a wonderful place to live, study, and create! If you know of any events or want to join in this conversation, please comment below!


Made 4 the Holidays Fair this Sunday!

November 13, 2014

If waiting ’til the last minute isn’t your thing, get your holiday shopping done early this Sunday at the Farmers Curb Market. This special event will feature handmade goods from a variety of local artisans. crafts

You can expect art, jewelry, pottery and more. This is the perfect way to support your fellow artist and maybe even network or exchange ideas while you’re at it.

Art Thesis Studio Open House

November 6, 2014

Today’s the day… It’s the moment you have all been waiting for… The big reveal is almost here…


So head on out to Hildebrandt House at 7:30 for the Art Thesis Studio Open House!

It will be featuring the work of these lovely people:

Sam Metzner (photography)
Subha Semetaite (digital photography)
Maggie Flath (ceramics)
Isabel Ramirez (mixed media)
Samantha Rose Saatzer (painting)
Gloria Taylor-Williams (painting)
Eleanora Keene (painting)
Raina Märtens (sculpture)

They are all Senior Thesis students who will be opening up their studio building to the public for the first time this semester. They have all been working very hard and are excited to share their creative endeavors, I’m sure.

It’s a beneficial experience for anyone- whether you are an art major yourself, a budding artist looking for inspiration, or simply someone who appreciates the arts and a pleasant atmosphere.

I guarantee that the pieces presented tonight will stimulate your mind as well as your senses. The artists being featured are truly talented- but that’s not all you can expect from the show tonight.

There will also be LIVE musical performances and FREE refreshments.

It’s not just some stuffy art show, it’s a party! (I heard there may even be a photo booth). So grab your friends and come on down.

The open house runs from 7:30 to 9:30 at 805 Dolley Madison Road (next to Hodgins Retreat and behind BP).

For even more cultural fun, precede your visit with a stop by Hege-Cox Library from 5pm onwards. This marks the opening of the annual student show, which is destined to be a delight.

Congratulations to all of our Senior Thesis students and welcome to any new and interested visitors.

I look forward to seeing you tonight!


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