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Appalachian’s Smith Gallery presents “CALICO” through Dec. 9; works of senior studio art majors on view

By University Communications

BOONE, N.C.—The Smith Gallery at Appalachian State University is presenting “CALICO,” an exhibition of works in various media by university seniors, through Dec. 9.

The exhibition is free and open to the public, and a reception will be held for the artists on Dec. 9 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Smith Gallery, which is located in the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts.

View larger imageErina Schultz’s relief print from the book “Fish Shoes” will be on view in “CALICO,” an exhibition that the Smith Gallery is presenting through Dec. 9. Photo by Erina SchultzView larger imageAlec Castillo’s photograph from the series “One More Mile” is featured in “CALICO,” an exhibition that the Smith Gallery is presenting through Dec. 9. Photo by Justen HarrisView larger imageJusten Harris’ handcrafted metalwork necklace is featured in “CALICO,” an exhibition that the Smith Gallery is presenting through Dec. 9. Photo by Justen Harris

Each of the artists with work in “CALICO” is pursuing a B.F.A. in studio art. They are showcasing various studio techniques, including photography, installation, sculpture, metals, organic ceramics, painting, book arts and tattooed leather garments.

Jeana Klein, an associate professor in Appalachian’s Department of Art, has supervised the “CALICO” artists for about a year. She said that their show stands out for her because “each student has been able to find a voice through … work that is uniquely their own.”

“It has been extraordinarily rewarding to see how their work has grown, evolved and matured over the last year in which I have been working with them,” she said.

About the “CALICO” artists

Jon Michael Benz of Boone is interested in art as a “visual dialect” outside the barriers of everyday language. His current work addresses the meaning of self and the role of the ego in capturing reality. The ethereal, unpredictable nature of the ceramic process inspires his work as a painter.

Alec Castillo of Boone focuses on documentary photography projects about events and relationships in his own life. As a staff photographer for Golden Voice, he documents musicians and concerts at festivals around the country. His work has been published internationally in such online publications as It’s Nice That, Lifo and Pile Rats.

Michaela Corso of Boone draws with a tattoo machine on leather garments, exploring the historical, cultural and personal contexts of tattooing. Her work has been shown in various community and regional exhibitions.

Justen Harris of Boone joined the United States Air Force in 1998 after graduating from high school. In 2007, after deploying all over the world and developing medical issues that hindered her military work, she retired from the military and began attending college to pursue a secret passion: metalworking. In January 2014, she enrolled in Appalachian and dove right into the art department. She uses her experience in the military to guide her work and is devoted to learning everything that she can to further her skills.

Chandler Jenkins of Greenville works mainly with fibers. The intricate-yet-forgiving processes that go into fiber art are what drew her to it. Fairy tales have long held her interest: She appreciates their simple narratives and the beloved characters and creatures that come from them. These characters and narratives are the focus of Jenkins’s current body of work, which explores the deeper human narrative that myth and mythological characters can convey.

Jesse Lee of Charlotte has exhibited work at the Light Gallery in Charlotte and the Smith Gallery. He focuses on character-based art derived from observational research of human behavior and history, working in both digital and traditional media. His work is characterized by 3D modeling, concept art, sequential art and character model making.

Andrew Merritt of Miami is a ceramic artist and sculptor. His expressive ceramic work reflects his fascination with clay’s versatility and its ability to take on almost any form. He finds inspiration in the phenomena he observes in nature and in the underlying forces that drive growth and life. He wants each of his pieces to feel distinguished yet approachable.

Erina Schultz of Jensen Beach, Florida, recently received Appalachian’s Judy Humphrey Print Travel Scholarship. Her preferred medium is relief printing. She creates work that is structured around personal memories and current issues. She likes to question and interpret the world around her through her art.

Sloane Siobhan of Charlotte specializes in painting, but she also wrote an article in the Charlotte Observer that helped spread awareness about the plight of women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Her painting is on view in a year-long group exhibition at the home of Chancellor Sheri N. Everts, and this past summer she exhibited her work in “Visual Jungle,” a group show in Charlotte. She is currently working on paintings commissioned by Everts.

Melyssa Breann Winkler of Boone specializes in drawing and painting, and her work typically features watercolors and chalk pastel on multiple diverse surfaces. She creates soft atmospheric pieces aimed at encouraging long periods of deep, quiet viewing. Her work deals with line quality and how changing line and color can alter the way we perceive space.

Chris Yuda of Boone focuses on painting and the challenges that accompany the open-ended nature of that medium. His work aims to answer a complex question: What can we learn from painting? Yuda’s most notable show has been the group exhibition, “Origins,” at the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum. His future plans involve moving to New York.

About the Smith Gallery

The Smith Gallery at Appalachian State University presents original and traveling exhibitions, features works by faculty and students and enriches its programmatic offerings through collaborative projects. It actively involves students in its exhibitions and programming by serving as a site for honing curatorial, presentation and installation abilities. The gallery is located in the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts at 733 Rivers St. in Boone. Regular hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

About Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.