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Faculty, staff featured in upcoming art exhibit

Santos Rivas painting Shooting Star-edit.jpg
Shooting Star was painted by Santos Rivas

An exhibit featuring the University of North Georgia's "hidden" artists opens next month on the university's Gainesville and Oconee campuses. "Creative Community: The Other Side of UNG's Faculty and Staff" includes work from faculty and staff outside of the Department of Visual Arts.

UNG's Roy C. Moore Art Gallery, located on the university's Gainesville campus, and the Oconee campus gallery will host summer shows featuring work by faculty and staff from those two campuses. The exhibit will be on display from June 12 through July 17. An opening reception is scheduled for noon on June 12 in the lobby of the Continuing Education Building on the Gainesville campus.

War Cry
War Cry is an image by John Williams.

Beth Sale, the university's gallery director who put together the exhibit, said she has discovered that many of her colleagues have artistic talents.

"I became aware, over years of getting to know people on the Gainesville and Oconee campuses, that there are hidden artists behind administrative desks. I became curious about their art," she said. "This exhibit is a chance to share hidden talents with the community of UNG."

Ezekiel Black, an English instructor, is glad that Sale organized the show so amateurs could show off their hard work.

"I'm sure there are several faculty and staff members who, like me, approach art as a hobby, not a profession, and this show is an opportunity for them to display their work," Black said. "I'm influenced by the Pop Artists of the 1960s, especially Roy Lichtenstein, and my work employs the same hard lines and bright colors. My subjects vary, but I do enjoy painting writers, such as Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman."

Sloan Jones, director of community engagement and government relations at UNG, enjoys working with clay and has two pieces in the exhibit.

"This is an exciting opportunity and I am proud to be able to share my work with the campus community," Jones said. "Many of the people who have influenced me and encouraged me to pursue my love of pottery are UNG faculty members who took time to talk with me and share their expertise. Through my pottery, I capture textures and preserve them in clay. The two pieces I have submitted for the show include both vintage lace and leaf impressions."

Leora Myers, administrative assistant to the senior vice president of university affairs, enjoys painting images of the flowers from her own garden, but also dabbles in mixed media.

"I like to enhance my paintings with a little quirky something to make it a 'mixed media' piece. If you look at the "Morning Glory" piece, you might detect a lady bug that is 3-D," she said. "I also sign my name in different places so that it works into the background."

Those featured in the Roy C. Moore Art Gallery on the Gainesville campus are:

  • Allison Ainsworth, assistant director for the Center for Language Education
  • Ezekiel Black, English instructor
  • Shelley Collins, Department of Teacher Education
  • Karen Dodson, assistant English professor
  • Sloan Jones, director of community engagement and government relations
  • Leora Myers, administrative assistant to the senior vice president of university affairs
  • Clay Ouzts, history professor
  • Kya Reaves, assistant English professor
  • Luis Santos-Rivas, coordinator for Hispanic leadership development
  • David Smith, assistant media studies professor
  • Kim Waters, mathematics instructor
  • Lesley Weiss, tennis instructor

Those featured in the Oconee Campus Gallery are:

  • Anne Duke, head of Department of Accounting and Law
  • Joshua Jones, media services
  • Clay Ouzts, history professor
  • Kim Waters, mathematics instructor
  • John Williams, e-learning and media services
  • Lee Williams, computer services specialist

During the summer, the Roy C. Moore Art Gallery is open by appointment and The Oconee Campus Gallery is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays. Contact or call 678-717-3707 for additional information.

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