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Collaborative and multi-media art to inspire discussion at UNG

January 18, 2018

A new semester means new faces, classes, experiences, and stories to share.

Victoria Cooke, director of art galleries at the University of North Georgia (UNG), is especially looking forward to the 2018 opening exhibit titled "Stories" from artists Sandra Trujillo and Curtis Stewardson on UNG’s Gainesville Campus.

"They agreed to collaborate over the summer but said 'we don't know what we are going to do,'" Cooke said. "So it will be exciting to see their work that will be unveiled. I'm pretty excited about it."

Trujillo and Stewardson have created a series of ceramic vignettes populated with figurines and staged in small architectural spaces. Corners, planes, edges, and a soup of myth, magic and inter-generational figures function to tell stories of health and daily life.

The exhibit is now on display through Feb. 7, with the artists' talk and reception from 12:30-2 p.m. Feb. 7, in the Roy C. Moore Art Gallery in the Continuing Education/Performing Arts Building at 3820 Mundy Mill Road in Oakwood, Georgia.

Following the first exhibit will be Jonathan Pellitteri's exhibit "Measures of Impact" from Feb. 21 to March 21 on the Gainesville Campus. His artist talk and reception is from 12:30-2 p.m. March 21.

Cooke said Pellitteri repurposes measuring devices and scientific instruments such as microscopes and combines them with miniature landscapes.

"He really wants to spark discussion and his pieces encourage people to talk about the issues with the environment and draw their own conclusions," Cooke said.

His exhibit is timely for UNG since a new sustainability initiative is underway on all campuses.

On the Dahlonega Campus, Jess Jones is launching the spring semester with her exhibit. The Atlanta textile artist finds quilt tops in local thrift and second-hand stores that she stitches with her own topographical layers. Through this process, Jones examines the urban environment and influence of geography on the psychology of people who inhabit it.

Her exhibit is open and runs through Feb. 8 with the reception from 5-6:30 p.m. Feb. 1, in the Bob Owens Art Gallery on the top floor of the Hoag Student Center across from the Great Room in Dahlonega.

Following Jones' exhibit will be Juan Logan's "The Sugar House," which combines the American experience from the viewpoint of being an African-American, Cooke said.

"He plays with different symbols in different kinds of American life," she said. "For example, he will use a lawn jockey – which a lot of people are familiar with – but make you think about it in a different way."

Cooke said his work inspires dialogue on issues such as race, but he facilitates the discussion in a non-confrontational tone.

"He makes it so easy to talk about issues that are difficult," she said.

The exhibits in the spring, however, do not all feature professionals. The Dahlonega, Gainesville and Oconee campuses feature student artists near the end of the semester.

The Gainesville and Oconee campuses award scholarships to students with a ceremony and reception April 18 and 25, respectively. The Gainesville Campus exhibit runs from March 28 through April 18, and the Oconee Campus show is April 4-25.

On the Dahlonega Campus, students compete in an annual juried show. Winners are honored with a ceremony and reception April 5 while their art remains on display from March 22 to April 19.

"It really exciting to see the students get into the show," Cooke said. "It's a real learning experience."

For more information about future art exhibits, visit the websites of the Bob Owens Art Gallery on the Dahlonega Campus, the Roy C. Moore Art Gallery on the Gainesville Campus, and the Oconee Campus Art Exhibits.

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