Appears the interim director of Uptown Greenville has good knowledge of its operations. So let's look elsewhere, form a...

Teachers show their work for new art exhibit

1 of 5

"I Dream of Nature" by Lupita Nava, Bethel Elementary School, is a part of the Rock the Bus exhibit at Emerge Gallery. (Molly Urbina/The Daily Reflector)


By Kim Grizzard
The Daily Reflector

Friday, May 3, 2019

As artists, their influence can be seen in hundreds, even thousands, of paintings, illustrations, sculptures and designs; yet for the most part, their work has remained in the background.

But “Rock the Bus” has become a vehicle of expression for Pitt County Schools visual arts teachers. The annual exhibit, which opens today at Emerge Gallery and Art Center, showcases the creations of 20 art teachers, representing more than a dozen area schools.

“It's a celebration of their created work,”said Jane Austen Behan, arts education programs director for Pitt County Schools. “It gives them the opportunity in the visual art world to showcase their particular talents as working artists themselves.

“That's kind of the inception of the project,” she said. “What would happen if we had this opportunity for our teachers to showcase what they're able to do? … It's a wide variety of talent that we have.”

The exhibit includes painting, printmaking, stained glass, ceramics, metals, papier mache and mixed media on exhibit in both the Don Edwards and Harvey Wooten galleries.

The exhibit, which began more than a decade ago, has in recent years shared gallery space with 3rd Congressional District Art Competition winners. However, that student competition is on hiatus this year while voters seek to elect a representative to fill the seat of former U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr., who died in February.

“Rock the Bus” opens tonight with a reception designed to honor 100 arts faculty members who teach music, theater, dance and visual arts in the county's public schools system. Winners are: Ira Varney of South Central High School, first for “Happy Hour,” a wall sculpture created from discarded marker tops; Lupita Nava of Bethel School, second for the painting“I Dream of Nature”; and Michael P. Wells of Grifton School, third for “Portrait of a Model.”

Works, on display through May 30, vary from abstract (Wintergreen's Melissa Harrell with “Bright Color Play” and J.H. Rose High School's D.L. Niece with “Medusa Oblongata”) to figurative (Stokes' Malisa Jessie with “Brighter Days” and Belvoir's Randall Ken with “Groucho Marx the Spot”). Among three-dimensional works are “Footed Vessel” by South Central's Gael Story and a type of “hands vessel,” by Chicod's Kathy Bello. Titled “Trapped,” it depicts fingers emerging from within a vase.

In mixed media, Northwest Elementary School's Blaire Nichols has contributed whimsical papier mache hunting trophies depicting a lion and a giraffe.

“Beyond just what they're teaching, all of these teachers have such amazing talent in their own art-making,” said Holly Garriott, executive director of Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge. “They are incredible artists in their own right.”

Garriott, the daughter of an art teacher, said art educators sometimes focus so intently on their students that they cease to create their own works.

“So much of their emphasis is going into their kids and what they're doing,” she said. “I think that's the hard thing for anybody who works in the arts, not as an artists, whether it's a teacher or administrator, we don't give ourselves permission to do what we do, why we fell in love with it in the first place.”

As an incentive for teachers to persist in pursuing their craft, Wooten, a member of Emerge's board of directors, is making a contribution to the school arts budget of each participating teacher. Winning teachers will receive additional funding for their schools' art programs.

“We need to value our art teachers so much more,” Garriott said. “This is a way we can give back a little bit to help our school system.”

Behan said arts budgets vary among schools in the district, but due to the expense of art materials, there always is a need for funding.

“We have extremely resourceful teachers, and we do a lot with recycled materials,” Behan said.

“Rock the Bus” provides several illustrations of that. South Central's Robyn Barnes created “Wash It Down,” a work shaped like a cocktail glass, entirely from discarded paintbrushes. “Los Desatres de la Clase de Arte,” (translated “art class disasters”) by D.H. Conley High School's David Madigan, features 28 framed twice-repurposed egg cartons that were once used to hold paint.

Behan believes the teachers' show of creativity is simply one more way they can motivate their students.

“That's really the best role model you can have for students for them to actually see their teachers' efforts in the creative spectrum,” she said. “It's just an inspiration.”

Emerge Gallery and Art Center, 404 S. Evans St., will host an opening reception for “Rock the Bus” from 5-8 p.m. today as part of the First Friday Artwalk in the uptown district. The event is free; however, patrons may contribute to a fund designated for Pitt County Schools arts programs. Visit emergegallery.com.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.


August 16, 2019


Jazz fundraiser

The Churches Outreach Network will present an Evening of Jazz fundraiser from 6:30-9 p.m. today at Yankee Hall Plantation, 3332 Yankee Hall Road. The event, which will celebrate 11 years of service by CON, will include a three-course meal and a live jazz ensemble. Tickets are…


August 14, 2019

Q: I decided to try to use olive oil instead of vegetable oil. Standing in front of the olive oil section I couldn’t figure out what to buy. Can you help? KP, Farmville

A: You share the same dilemma with many of us. On a recent trip to Boston I went into a great market that had an entire…


August 11, 2019

Before she graduated from high school, Ghita Harris worked as a medical research assistant in the ECU School of Medicine, an opportunity that would have seemed to have put her on the fast track to becoming a physician. But more than two decades later, her journey has just begun.

The Greenville…


August 11, 2019

Over 50 years ago, I had a Swedish girlfriend.

It never turned into anything long-term. But the fact that I met the Swedish girl before I met the girl I ended up marrying clearly introduced several complications into both relationships. And it has produced a tale that my wife Ruthie has never tired…


August 10, 2019


Relay fundraiser

Relay for Life Pitt County will host its annual Purple Ribbon Charity Dinner and Silent Auction from 7-11 p.m. today at The Cotton Barn, 942 Laurie Ellis Road, Winterville. The theme is “Eat, Drink, and be Charitable.” Tickets are $50 each or $75 per couple. Visit…

August 09, 2019


Play festival

Magnolia Arts Center, 1703 E. 14th St., will host the annual 10-minute Play Festival performance at 7:30 p.m. today. Tickets are $10. Visit magnoliaartscenter.com.

Music in the Park

Grimesland’s monthly Music in the Park series continues at 6:30 p.m. today at Grimesland…

August 09, 2019

Capsules of movies playing locally. New releases are indicated with an asterisk.

*BRIAN BANKS — The inspirational true story of Brian Banks (Aldis Hodge), an All-American high school football star committed to USC who finds his life upended when he is wrongly convicted of a crime he…

August 07, 2019

In the South, we have a connection to the land and its people. We root ourselves in the soil, nourish ourselves with the fruits and vegetables that grow and use products created from natural elements sold by seasoned craftsman and farmers.

All of these wonderful treasures can be found at a farmers…


August 07, 2019

Q: My doctor told me to use spices and herbs instead of salt in my food. I looked at the spice section of the store and really didn’t know what to choose. What is your favorite one? FG, Greenville

A: That’s a simple question for me to answer — it is dill. A jar sits on our dining…


August 04, 2019

Being part of a group can oftentimes be intimidating and quite honestly scary, so when I was invited to be part of the Interfaith Clergy several years ago, I was excited and unsure at the same time.

I only knew two of the clergy in this group and being that I’m not clergy, I wondered if I…

133 stories in Look. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 14
        Next Page»   Last Page»