WCU art museum marks new season with three exhibits

FAM_Dean_Lettenstrom_Fundy_WebThe Fine Art Museum at Western Carolina University launches its 2009-10 season with three exhibits that, while grounded in Western North Carolina, demonstrate a wide scope. The exhibits will run from Saturday, Aug. 1, through Friday, Sept. 18.

The museum, in WCU’s Fine and Performing Arts Center, will host a reception for the new exhibits from 2 to 4 p.m. Aug. 1.

The exhibits are as follows:

• “New Gifts: Selections from the Collection of Professor Emeritus Perry Kelly”
Kelly, formerly of the School of Art and Design, gave the Fine Art Museum 50 works from his personal collection. The exhibit features a selection of that work, in a variety of media, by former art faculty and students and visiting artists.

• “George Masa: A Photographic Vision of the Mountains”
This exhibit, in recognition of the 75th anniversary of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, features the photographs and field notes of George Masa, a native of Japan who arrived in Asheville in 1915 and later opened a photographic studio. A friend of naturalist and author Horace Kephart, Masa (pictured below right) explored the mountains of Western North Carolina and lobbied for the establishment of the national park. Special Collections at Hunter Library provided exhibit materials.

Photographer George Masa, shown here, advocated creating Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Fine Art Museum at Western Carolina University will exhibit Masa’s photographs and field notes from Aug. 1 through Sept. 18.

Photographer George Masa, shown here, advocated creating Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Fine Art Museum at Western Carolina University will exhibit Masa’s photographs and field notes from Aug. 1 through Sept. 18.

• “Dean and Nancy Cramer Lettenstrom: Delicate Balance – Painting + Drawing”
The Lettenstroms, with long artistic careers, recently relocated from the Midwest to Asheville. Painter Dean Lettenstrom’s imagery – simple yet provocative – offers a visual statement about the fragility of the human condition. His “Table at Fundy” (mixed media on canvas, 36 by 24 inches, 2009) is above right. Nancy Lettenstrom’s mixed media drawings, on handmade paper, often depict animals as representations of the natural world.

Coming this fall is “Soul’s Journey: Inside the Creative Process,” running from Thursday, Oct. 1, through Saturday, Dec. 12. It features work by more than 20 contemporary Southeastern artists working in a variety of media, including ceramics, glass, wood, textiles and metals.

Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. The museum is closed Sunday and Monday and during university holidays and breaks. For more information, contact the Fine Art Museum at (828) 227-3591 or visit online at http://www.wcu.edu/fapac/Galleries/index.html.