Visiting University of North Carolina – Pembroke

At the invitation of Brandon Sanderson, I recently spent a week at the University of North Carolina – Pembroke where I tormented young printmaker minds. Pembroke is a small college town consisting of about 2500 residents – which mainly consists of Native Americans (The Lumbee Tribe). I was taken by how ethnically diverse the campus was compared to where I teach in Emporia, KS. The art facilities were pretty nice for a University of its size. Pictured below is the front of the Art Building.

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Luckily there was a Starbucks just outside of the art building, where I could get not only coffee but also sandwiches and smoothies. The baristas had a powerful drawl and I was often referred to as “Honey” and “Sweetheart”. Before I left they had memorized my real name.

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Monday was really packed. The workshop began early at 8 am for the basic drawing class. Many of the advanced printmaking made it at the early hour – that’s dedication! The 45 minute workshop covered basic leaf forms, shading and drawing of the spine. Students were engaged, took notes and drew along. It was a great group of beginning students.

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At 11 am, I gave an artist lecture to printmaking I. Another thing that amazed me was that the students were sitting there taking notes on everything I said. It was a pretty amazing feeling to think that everyone in the room was engaged in what I was saying and not playing on their cellphones.

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At 2 pm, I met with the advanced printmaking class. We looked through a portfolio exchange of engravings that my former Professor Gerry Wubben and I had put together. Following that I gave an engraving demonstration……supervised by a Miniature Queen.

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Later a large group of us met at Brandon’s house and he served us a feast of BBQ. There was also an exhibit of work from people that Brandon had met through Frogman’s print workshop. At Brandon’s request, I gave a talk about the awesomeness of Froggies and the print community in general. 

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There was also a ceremony christening Brandon’s studio with his new presses. For legal reasons, I can not go further into what happened.

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Later, I had a critique with a few of the students. I did not photograph the work from this critique, but the image below is by one of the students named Reilley. It was a banned subject matter theme….a mermaid and a unicorn snorting a pile of coke. Struck me as hilarious.

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The next day the editioning began for a portfolio (Melanie Yazzie’s “Searching” portfolio exchange).

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This was followed by bowling….in slightly embarrassing outfits. Thank you Daniela!

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I also had the opportunity to shoot Tequila and chat with UNCP Emeritus Professor of Printmaking Ralph Steeds. I feel lucky in that Brandon and Ralph were both kind enough to trade me some lithos so I have more examples for the students here. Below is Ralph’s studio.

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Before I left, the students printed some shirts and my new “Engraving Club” block that I had finished while I was there.

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I had wonderful time visiting and met some great students. I hope to see some of you at Froggies next year…..preferably in my class!!

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