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Lees-McRae Art Faculty’s Exhibit Opening Dec. 9

Nov. 28, 2012. Three Lees-McRae College art faculty combine their visions for the December show at the Dickson Gallery, located in Cannon Hospital, Linville. New works by Michael Joslin, Melissa Ball-Martin and Jesse Knight open this week and will be on exhibit until the middle of January.

The public is invited to meet the artists at an opening on Sunday, Dec. 9 from 2-4 p.m. in the gallery. Refreshments will be served and seasonal and Baroque music provided by Ottava Rima, a recorder and harpsichord ensemble.

Michael Joslin moved to the Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina in 1983. Since then he has written and illustrated with his photography five books that celebrate mountain life. Mountain Spring, his sixth book, is the first in a new series that takes the reader on an in-depth journey through Appalachia’s seasons.

Michael does not merely write about mountain life; he and his wife, Pam, live it. On their farm in Buladean, they cultivate a large vegetable garden every year, buy beef from a local farmer, raise chickens, and chop wood for the heating stove and the cookstove, where Pam cooks, bakes and roasts turkeys for the holidays. Even though the Joslin children (Blanche, Dylan and Mitchell) are grown and living on their own, they often return to enjoy the beauty, simplicity, warmth and bountiful table of home.

Michael received his Ph.D. in English Literature in 1977 from the University of South Carolina. He is a professor at Lees-McRae College where he joined the Humanities Division in 1989 and teaches writing, photography and literature. Also, he is the Director of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia.

Michael and Pam established the Appalachian Heritage Week, celebrated each spring at Lees-McRae. Pam is a Lees-McRae alumna and works in the Creative and Fine Arts Division of the college.

For 25 years, Michael has written for local newspapers and regional and national magazines, and has presented his photography in numerous exhibitions throughout Appalachia.

Melissa C. Ball-Martin has been an Artist and Educator for over 15 years, currently as Associate Professor and Program Coordinator for the Communication Arts and Design Department at Lees-McRae. Melissa earned her undergraduate degree from Appalachian State University in Art Education. She has taught all levels of Art and Design but has been focused in Higher Education for the past 12 years.

Melissa has an M.F.A. from the University of North Carolina Greensboro where she taught Design, Digital Design and Art Education before moving back to her roots in Avery County. While her artistic training was in Sculpture and Fiber Arts, her work has evolved to include Digital Drawing and Mixed Media. She now lives in the most beautiful and oldest mountains in the world with her husband, son, three dogs and a cat. Her interests include good coffee, working in her sketchbook, and researching strange and interesting topics.