Fine Arts Musuem showcases pieces by art educators

The John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Museum will open its doors to the second Western North Carolina Art Educators Exhibit on June 7 and will last through August 3, tying in the Cullowhee Native Plant Conference to be held on July 18-21.

Participants must be professional art educators for grades k-12, over the age of 18 and living in Charlotte or west of Charlotte. All forms of media will be accepted for the event, which will feature in-house jurors.

The theme for this year’s exhibit is Native Floral and Fauna of the Southeastern United States and is a collaboration with the Cullowhee Native Plant Conference. The Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Museum’s Interim Director, Denise Drury, said the theme came to be when she ran into some friends who head the conference.

“We wanted a way to bring the two together. The Southeast, especially where we live, is the most biologically diverse part of our nation, if not the world,” said Drury.

Dr. Erin Tapley, professor of art education for the school of art and design, helped put together the exhibit. She was in charge of planning and organizing the exhibit.

“I want to thank Erin Tapley; she was our interface with the art educators. She teaches here, and so most of our participants went through her,” Drury said.

Two of the artists featured are Dora May and Donna Rhodes.

May has taught for 26 years, five of which in Swain County. Her piece, “Microcosm of the Macrocosm,” is a reflection of her inner battles with food and body image against the media, as well as comfort taken in the natural world.

Rhodes submitted two pieces, “Spring” and “Two-Faced.” “Spring” is a collection of three stuffed canvases laced together and adorned with a cross and egg shapes to symbolize renewal. “Two-Faced” takes inspiration from Dali’s works. When turned 90 degrees, the view shifts from that of a zebra head to a human head.

“I hope this work emphasizes the notion that man and beast are connected in a thousand ways. Perhaps we are only a 90-degree turn away from being one with nature,” Rhodes said.