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UNG opens two new exhibits, expands outdoor sculpture exhibit

BrianHitselbergerCrop.jpg
Artwork by Athens-based artist Brian Hitselberger will be on display at UNG this fall in an exhibit called "Forgetting the Self."

This fall, the University of North Georgia's (UNG) Department of Visual Arts marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with an exhibit from an artist who spent eight days stranded in New Orleans during the storm and its aftermath.

Brian Hitselberger's "Forgetting the Self," images from a body of work exploring themes of anonymity, intimacy, and the relation of these ideas to the spiritual, opens Aug. 20 at the Bob Owen Gallery on UNG's Dahlonega Campus.

"He was one of the many people who remained in New Orleans while Hurricane Katrina hit land 10 years ago," said Beth Sale, director of galleries at UNG. "He recently shared with me his personal experiences from the eight days he was stranded in New Orleans, describing imagery that I now see clearly in his art. Though his work in 'Forgetting the Self' does not specifically reference Katrina, the exhibit provides a meditative space to consider universal concerns on all levels. I'm pleased to have this space to contemplate the 10th anniversary of the Hurricane Katrina tragedy."

Hitselberger lives and works in Athens, Georgia, and is an assistant professor of art at Piedmont College. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Tulane University in 2005 and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Georgia in 2010.

"Forgetting the Self" runs through Sept. 17 with a closing reception at 5 p.m. on Sept. 3. The Bob Owens Art Gallery is on the top floor of the Hoag Student Center and is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays; and 3 to 7 p.m. on Sundays.

Ideal Strains by Bridget Mullen
"Ideal Strains" is part of an
upcoming exhibit at UNG from artist
Bridget Mullen.

On the Gainesville Campus, work from New York City artist Bridget Mullen will be on display in the Roy C. Moore Art Gallery. The exhibit "Neighborhood Watch" opens at 2 p.m. Aug. 27 with a presentation and discussion by the artist.

"She follows her intuition while creating paintings that cross traditional media boundaries, using an array of materials to create dream-like imagery," Sale said. "Bridget will be traveling from Roswell, New Mexico, where she is currently participating in a year-long residency program, to speak at UNG."

Mullen earned a bachelor's degree in art education from Drake University in 1999 and a Master of Fine Arts from the Massachusetts College of Art in 2006.

"Neighborhood Watch" continues through Sept. 24 in the Roy C. Moore Art Gallery, located in the Continuing Education/ Performing Arts Building. The gallery is open from noon to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday, and from noon to 3 p.m. on Fridays.

Also, UNG has expanded its free, outdoor sculpture exhibition to include installations on four campuses — Cumming, Dahlonega, Gainesville, and Oconee — through summer 2016.

"Viewers will form their own interpretations and opinions of the work, and that is one of the values of public art," said Dr. Jon Mehlferber, associate professor of art at UNG. "The sculpture adds vitality to the campuses, and it can be enjoyed somewhat passively, simply as a diversion from the usual surroundings, or viewers can interact with it more actively, by discussing it and arguing about its many possible meanings. I see the outdoor sculpture exhibition as another way for the university to reach out to the community, students, faculty and staff, and provide an opportunity for engagement, entertainment and critical thinking."

All sculptors represented in the outdoor exhibit were born in or are living in one of the 13 Appalachian states. The artists submitted images of up to three sculptures for consideration, and the juried competition resulted in the selection of the works included in this exhibition.

For more information about UNG's galleries, including upcoming exhibits, visit http://ung.edu/art-galleries/index.php. For directions and maps to UNG campuses, visit http://ung.edu/campuses/index.php.

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