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Virtual ARTtalks at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts Offered Through Fresh New Website

The Mayer Gallery at the Turchin Center features a towering wall of windows that fronts King Street. While the Turchin Center has been closed to the public during the global pandemic, those who have passed by and peeked in the windows, will have noticed that the art inside the gallery has been changing. In March 2020, artist Lisa Marushak’s undulating silk banners were suspended from the ceiling, then were replaced by bejeweled chandeliers, chairs and objects, by artist Esperanza Cortés. The gallery changed again recently and now contains an architect’s representation of three rowhouse blocks from Philadelphia. While this gallery is the only one visible to the outside, the other gallery exhibitions in the Turchin Center have also been rotating.

With the progression of vaccinations in the community, the staff of the Turchin Center are working to develop a timeline for the public re-opening of the facility, in a way that ensures the health and safety of all. In the meantime, access to the Turchin galleries and programs are offered through a fresh new website, www.tcva.org. It includes walk-through videos, online ARTtalks, learning guides and virtual workshops. For inquiries about private tours, please call 828.262.3017.

As a complement to the exhibition programs at the Turchin Center, an on-line ARTtalk series is being featured this spring. Talks are led by exhibition artists, architects and renowned photographers who provide deeper insight into creative practice, context for the exhibitions and contemporary issues shaping the world in which art is created, experienced and interpreted. ARTtalks are being held virtually via Zoom on selected Wednesdays at 6 pm. These events are free and open to the public; however, registration is required. Visit tcva.org/learn-arttalks for more information and to register.

Matthew Arnold – Longing for Amelia

Current Exhibitions and ARTtalks

Longing for Amelia – The Historical and Mythological Landscape: Matthew Arnold

Through May 1, 2021in Gallery B

On May 20, 1937, Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan took off from Oakland, California on the first leg of their historic round-the-world flight. They disappeared 43 days later while trying to locate tiny Howland Island in the remote Pacific. 83 years after Earhart’s disappearance her legend survives in the many individuals still searching for evidence of what happened to her on that fateful day in 1937.

With this photographic project, Matthew Arnold documents the environs that play host to the many theories which attempt to resolve the mystery of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance. The work presented here is from the first stage of Arnold’s project—a five-week expedition to the outer-reaches of the Northern Mariana and Marshall Islands, photographing the seascapes and landscapes specific to the “Japanese Capture” theory. It is a theory which involves a forced landing in fortified Japanese territory followed by capture, imprisonment, and possible execution at the hands of their Imperial Navy.

Matthew Arnold is an American photographer and his work has been exhibited and promoted widely in galleries and museums across the United States and around the world, including London, England, Venice, Italy and in Guatemala. Awards and honors include being named a Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Traveling Fellow; a Top 50 Emerging Photographer by LensCulture and an exhibitor at the Valid Foto Gallery in Barcelona, Spain. He was recently named a Photolucida 2020 Critical Mass Top 50 Photographer for the second time—this time for his Amelia Earhart project.

ARTtalk: Matthew Arnold – March 10, at 6 pm.

Christina Laurel – Fading Cocoon

Refugium: Christina Laurel

Through May 1, 2021 in Gallery A

Christina Laurel is a paper artist creating installations and two-dimensional art, all with a Japanese aesthetic. Her mission is to create an “exhale” moment, an oasis that offers a respite and refuge from our daily sensory overload. Suspended lace panels support a migrating pattern of butterflies that cast shadows and respond to air movement. According to the artist, “A refugium is a specific environment in which a species can survive, whereas outside this environment it cannot. The butterfly is my chosen nature motif for this “Refugium:” strong yet fragile, enduring yet temporal. By walking among the socially-distanced, freely-rotating, suspended cocoons, the viewer becomes a part of the installation.

Christina Laurel is an artist of paper and in 2005 she removed her art from the frame; in 2009 she began crafting suspensions that freely rotate and in 2014 shoji paper made its debut in an installation featuring one of her nature motifs – the gingko. She originally studied fashion design at Cornell University, then fine art at the University of Maryland and SUNY Brockport, earning a BS Studio Art in 2009.  Laurel’s artistic mission: “to create an exhale moment, an oasis of respite from the sensory bombardment of today’s world.”

ARTtalk: Christina Laurel, March 31 at 6 pm.

Holly Roberts_Snake Rider III

Fictive Strategies: Suzanne Sbarge & Holly Roberts

Through June 5, 2021 in the Main Gallery

This exhibition brings together two artists who have separate practices but share commonalities as described in this statement by Mary Anne Redding. “Suzanne Sbarge and Holly Roberts share a similar sensibility; they both use collage, weaving textures and images into surrealistically enigmatic artworks that open subconscious doorways into the ambiguous space of the night: haunting dreams brim with narrative probability remaining stubbornly resistant to literal interpretation. Both artists live in and are intimately familiar with the New Mexico landscape where a deep stillness is part of the character of both the land and the people who inhabit it.”

Holly Roberts obtained her M.F.A from Arizona State University and has also studied at the University of New Mexico, and Bellas Artes De Mexico in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Her work has been exhibited in over 90 individual exhibitions and over 100 group exhibitions across the United States and internationally. Her work is in the collections of many public and corporate collections across the United States. A dedicated teacher as well as a prolific artist, she has had a profound effect on a community of artists around the country. She continues to live and work in the Southwest.

Suzanne Sbarge was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1965. She has lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico since 1989. She received her B.A. degree in art history and studio arts from Barnard College in New York City and her M.A. degree in Art Education from the University of New Mexico. She has also studied studio arts at L’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Toulouse, France; Syracuse University in Florence, Italy; The Art Students’ League in New York City; University of Connecticut; University of Massachusetts; as well as Anderson Ranch in Colorado, Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina and Vermont Studio Center. Her work has been exhibited in over 75 group exhibitions and 15 solo shows since the late 1980s. It is in the collections of over 100 local, national and international collectors, and has been represented at galleries across the United States.

ARTtalk: Suzanne Sbarge and Holly Roberts. Available now on the TCVA website.


Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition

March 5 – June 5, 2021 in the Mezzanine Gallery

In its 18th year, the Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition (AMPC) provides both amateur and professional photographers with the opportunity to showcase their interpretation of the unique character, people, places and pursuits that distinguish the Southern Appalachians. The categories include: Adventure, Blue Ridge Parkway, Culture, Our Ecological Footprint, Flora/Fauna and Landscape.

“Despite the continued pandemic, organizers chose to continue on with the AMPC this year,” states Rich Campbell, AMPC Competition Director. “Knowing the importance of the outdoors, especially during this pandemic, part of our goal was to continue to inspire people to engage with the natural world, which this year provided much needed solace and space.”

Over 800 entries were submitted and the jury panel selected 51 finalist images that are on display in the Mezzanine Gallery. Awards will be announced during a virtual awards presentation on Saturday March 20, 2021 and through media outlets.

The jury who selected the finalist images and the final award-winning photographs are accomplished photographers and artists. Shauna Caldwell is an artist from Boone, NC. Her roots in Appalachia and relationship with the environment shape her creative work. She received BFAs in both studio art and art education and is currently pursuing an MA in Appalachian studies and a graduate certificate in non-profit administration.

Eric Heistand is a visual storyteller with a love for capturing redemptive moments and unlikely heroes. An outdoor enthusiast, Eric’s photography began as an extension of chronicling his adventures on rock walls and ski slopes. Nimble movement over mountainous terrain has shaped Eric’s embrace of a “fast and light” photography ethic. Eric moved from the Colorado Rockies to the Appalachians 12 years ago.

The AMPC is a partnership between Appalachian State University’s Outdoor Programs, the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts and Virtual Blue Ridge. The AMPC provides support for the university’s Office of Outdoor Programs and their extended expeditions that are educational journeys of discovery that take students around the world. The competition is generously sponsored by the Mast General Store and supporters include the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, Nikon Cameras, Stickboy Bread Company, Bistro Roca, Peabody’s Wine and Beer Merchants, Smoky Mountain Living, Footsloggers, and Appalachian Voices. Visit the AMPC for more information: www.appmtnphotocomp.org

AMPC Awards Presentation: March 20 at 6 pm.

ARTtalk: Contemporary Appalachian Photography, March 24 at 6 pm.

People’s Choice voting March 5 – 19


Rowhouse Workshop

March 5 – August 7 in the Mayer Gallery

Rowhouse Workshop is an interactive exhibition showcasing the unique personalities of rowhouse blocks in North, South and West Philadelphia. The exhibition leads visitors through a series of rowhouse block installations, sharing collectively curated songs, recipes, images, and videos.

Three Philadelphia blocks are represented in the Turchin Center’s Mayer Gallery through interactive installations from the original exhibition. Residents of the Boone region are invited to explore these Philadelphia blocks, and record their own observations and ideas about how the physical organizations of their own communities might help to shape and connect their collective identities.

The exhibition, supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, was conceived and curated by Brian Phillips and his firm, ISA, based in Philadelphia. ISA is an architecture office engaged in design and research projects in cities across the US. The firm works closely with project stakeholders to produce buildings, master plans, installations, and conversations that provide innovative solutions for their clients while productively addressing changing climates, lifestyles, technologies, and urban environments.

ARTtalk: Brian Phillips – April 14 at 6 pm

Cheryl Prisco – Fractured

Ruminations: Cheryl Prisco

March 5 – August 7 in the Community Gallery

Cheryl Prisco is an artist who works in wood and describes herself as having “a technical approach that is radically free-wielding by traditional woodworking standards. “I am addicted to color and pattern, drawn to irreverence and visual dissonance. In place of paint and brush I cut, color, and shape wood elements, creating abstract low relief assemblages. The process of my work, the shaping and fitting, the painting and placement of multiple pieces, is the physical manifestation of rumination. My feelings, attitudes and concerns are visually recorded in color and composition. Each assemblage is a rumination, a story, one in the making and one in the viewing.”

Cheryl Prisco is an abstract artist based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. She was born in Connecticut but has lived most of her adult life in the South– sixteen years in Savannah, Georgia and eleven years in Boone, North Carolina. 

ARTtalk: Cheryl Prisco – date TBD

For more information visit tcva.org

 About the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts

The Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, named for university benefactors Robert and Lillian Turchin, fulfills Appalachian State University’s long-held mission of providing a home for world-class visual arts programming.  The largest facility of its kind in the region, the center presents exhibition, education and collection programs that support the university’s role as a key educational, cultural and service resource. The center presents multi-dimensional exhibits and programs and is a dynamic presence in the community, creating opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to experience the power and excitement of the visual arts. Its seven galleries host changing exhibitions featuring local, regional, national and international artists.

The Turchin Center is located at 423 West King St., in Boone. Hours are 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Tues. – Thurs. and Saturday, and Noon – 8 p.m., Friday. The Center is closed Sunday and Monday, and observes all university holidays. Check the website for schedule changes due to Covid-19. Admission is always free, although donations are gratefully accepted. For general inquiries, to be added to the mailing or e-news list, to obtain donor program details or to schedule a tour, call 828-262-3017, e-mail turchincenter@appstate.edu or visit tcva.org. The Turchin Center can also be followed on Facebook and Twitter @TurchinCenter.