The Fayetteville Museum of Art has been making a lot of headlines recently, but they’d rather people focus on their mission rather than the headlines. With that in mind, the museum is hosting a premier party on Friday, Sept. 12, for a new sculpture exhibit titled Sense of Place.
    Sense of Place features the sculptures of three East Carolina University professors: Carl Billingsley, Jodi Hollnagel and Hanna Jubran. The large-scale sculptures not only take up a great amount of space, they also require viewers to reinterpret their Sense of Place.
    Billingsley was born in Oklahoma and spent his formative years in a variety of locations as his father, a sergeant in the field artillery, was transferred from post to post. Three years in Germany made an indelible impression on Billingsley and he has returned to Europe as an adult many times. Billingsley teaches sculpture at the School of Art & Design, and has a very active exhibition schedule. Billingsley’s work can be found in collections and sculpture gardens from North Carolina to Wisconsin. He has permanent public sculptures in Norway, Israel, Estonia, Japan, China and Brazil.
    {mosimage}Billingsley’s recent works have focused on a renewed interest and exploration of color. “Having made numerous sculptures which were intended to maintain as direct a relationship to the process and material as possible and which were therefore not painted, I decided to change my focus from the material to the dynamic of color in the public realm,” said Billingsley in an artist statement. “I strive to utilize color as phenomenon and to bring the attention of the public to the many ways that color changes as the light changes and as the environment around the sculpture affects both the form and the color of the sculpture. Color is not a static, passive element in these sculptures.”
    Billingsley will be joined by his fellow instructors, who have something else in common. In addition to their art and academic pursuits, Jodi Hollnagel and Hanna Jubran are married. They own and operate J&H Studio Inc. Their lives are dedicated to art by teaching at East Carolina University, making and exhibiting their art and traveling around the world participating in international sculpture symposiums.
    Hollnagel has works on display both nationally and internationally. Some of her accomplishments include: a 22’ wing-spanned bronze eagle for the Jesse Helms Archive Center in Wingate; an 11’ bronze wildcat at Davidson College; a 12’ bronze Scotsman at Presbyterian College in South Carolina; a 13’ bronze Pirate at East Carolina University in Greenville; and a monument to a Century of Flight in Kitty Hawk. She is currently making a life-size bronze figure and bas-relief work for a Veteran’s Memorial in Asheville.
    Jubran’s work addresses the concepts of time, movement, balance and space. Each sculpture occupies and creates its own reality influenced by its immediate surroundings. The work does not rely on one media to evoke the intended response, but takes advantage of compatible materials such as wood, granite, steel, iron and bronze.
He received his M.F.A. in 1983 in sculpture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is currently a sculpture professor and sculpture area coordinator at ECU. One of his most recent commissions can be found on the campus of Fayetteville State University. It is a nine-segmented concrete sculpture and reaches 11 feet in height.
    While you visually take in the sculptures at the premier, you can also listen to the eclectic sounds of the Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers, a band based out of Chapel Hill. The band has become something of a fixture at the museum’s openings, and will delight you with its delicate blend of acoustic guitar, keyboards and electronic mixing. Folksy and introspective, the band is in perfect compliment to the museum’s evening.
    The opening party begins at 6 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged and, according to museum officials, they are “happily accepted.”

Janice Burton, Associate Publisher
COMMENTS? 484-6200 ext. 222 or
[email protected]

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