BOONE, N.C. — Denise Ringler, director of arts engagement and cultural resources at Appalachian State University, along with colleagues Pegge Laine, Lindsay Miller and Mary Anne Redding, received $5,400 in funding from the North Carolina Arts Council to host the residency of North Carolina artists Bob Ray and Barbara Hardy and an exhibition of their artwork at the university’s Turchin Center for the Visual Arts.
Laine is community outreach coordinator for Appalachian’s Turchin Center for the Visual Arts; Miller serves as director of donor and external relations for the center; and Redding is the Turchin Center’s assistant director and curator.
According to Ringler, the goal of this project — an integral component of the Turchin Center’s exhibition and outreach program — was to overcome barriers to arts participation by bringing together members of several underserved communities through artists Ray and Hardy.
She said the artists have lived and worked together for over 25 years, and the influence they have upon one another is apparent in their shared love of textures and patterns. Ray works in a variety of media, including drawings, paintings, collage, sculpture and performance pieces. Hardy’s artistic concentration is in painting, sculpture and metal design.
“Guiding the residency was a key theme that inspired the artists’ work: the ways in which artists influence and draw inspiration from one another,” Ringler said. “This project explored the ‘circles of influence’ theme by applying it to the community members taking part in the residency, which was scheduled in two phases.”
In phase one, which began in early July 2017 and was completed in September, Ringler said the artists partnered with the Turchin Center outreach staff in working with community members who, at times, face barriers to arts participation due to factors such as economic hardship, geographic isolation, disabilities or cultural barriers.
Workshops in drawing, painting, collage and sculpture were offered during the first phase, “inspiring community members to find their creative voice,” Ringler said.
During the second phase, which took place in 2017 from mid-October to early December, the artists returned to Boone and re-connected with the community.
“By sharing their work with the artists, community members provided inspiration to the artists, and in doing so, completed the ‘circles of influence.’ Community members from diverse backgrounds had the opportunity to connect with each other and find common ground through creating art.”
The artists’ exhibition, titled “Circles of Influence,” was displayed in the main gallery of the Turchin Center from July-December 2017.
Appalachian students employed part time by the Turchin Center, as well as student interns were involved with the project.
About the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts
Located on 423 W. King St. at the crossroads of campus and community, the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at Appalachian State University engages visitors in dynamic and accessible exhibition, education, outreach and collection programs. These programs inspire and support a lifelong engagement with the visual arts and create opportunities for participants to learn more about themselves and the world around them. Hours are 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Saturday, and noon - 8 p.m. Friday. The center is closed Sunday and Monday and observes all university holidays. Admission is free, although donations are accepted. Learn more at https://tcva.appstate.edu/about/visit.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.