Monday, October 3, 2016

ecu sculpture consortium 2016 conference

This past weekend I attended the UNC Sculpture Consortium 2016 Conference at East Carolina University with my colleagues from Appalachian State, Adam Adcock and Travis Donovan. Appalachian State Sculpture student, Hunter Hill also went with us. We left work at AppState late after classes on Wednesday and Adam drove us through some serious storms and did a great job getting us to our hotel safe and sound. 

The next morning we arrived at ECU and were met by Hanna Jubran, professor of Sculpture at East Carolina and our host for the weeks events. Hanna studied Sculpture at UWM and was a student of my colleague Chuck Kraus so it was great to connect to Hanna now that I'm living in North Carolina. I was also able to meet several other professors from the North Carolina system such as Kyle Van Lusk who teaches at Brevard and is a friend of Adam and Travis. That morning we attended a demo my Morgan Kennedy who teaches at Western Carolina University and who also happens to be a former colleague from UWM. Morgan did a demo on shou sugi ban. It was great to see Morgan again and have a chance to catch up on things. The rest of the day was filled with panels on, Excellence in Teaching – from Vision to Realization, “Bridges” Building bridges between the students at the Community Colleges and University Art programs, and Adam and I sat on the panel, ”Making a Sustainable Career as an Artist”. In the afternoon we visited ECU’s MakerBot Innovation Center, and then followed that by a Lecture Presentation by Sculptor Patrick Dougherty. Afterwards we attended an exhibition by many of the artists/faculty who teach in the North Carolina system. We were fortunate enough to visit Hanna and Jodi's house and studio later that night, and Hanna gave us a tour of his studio. 

The following day continued with more panels and demonstrations. One panel was on “New Directions” and another on “Making in the Age of Google”, and then we had a tour of the Shape Lab, attended a paper casting workshop by Matt Egan and Heather Muise, and watched a mold making workshop by Hanna on mold set-up for direct carving. We left ECU late afternoon on Friday. 

I had such a great time. The conversations were great at the Conference and our hosts, Jodi and Hanna, were so gracious with their hospitality. I felt like I walked away with a ton of information, many many great contacts, and a lot of inspiration to take back to the studio. It was truly awesome. I also enjoyed the conversations during the trip with Adam, Travis, and Hunter immensely. 

Once again, I find myself counting my blessings in the fact that I now live here in North Carolina and that I work with such great people. I miss a lot of my students and friends in Milwaukee, but I'm feeling really good about my decision to make a change especially after such a great week like this. This part of the country just seems to be filled with so many people who are interested in teaching, making, and sharing. I'll post many more pictures of the various events in the next several posts and try to write about a few highlights.

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