UNCA’s annual juried international exhibition of contemporary drawing opens Jan. 19

Tracy Frein’s colored pencil drawing, July, was chosen for the Drawing Discourse exhibition, opening Jan. 19 at UNC Asheville.
Tracy Frein’s colored pencil drawing, July, was chosen for the Drawing Discourse exhibition, opening Jan. 19 at UNC Asheville.

Press release from UNC Asheville:

Drawing Discourse, UNC Asheville’s annual juried international exhibition of contemporary drawing, will feature works by 48 artists and will open Friday, Jan. 19, with a juror lecture and reception. The opening lecture by juror Stuart Shils will take place at 5 p.m. in Humanities Lecture Hall and a reception will follow at 6 p.m. in S. Tucker Cooke Gallery, where the exhibition will remain on view through Feb. 23.

Also on Jan. 19, UNC Asheville will present an exhibit by Asheville artist David Shurbutt in the Owen Hall Second Floor Gallery, also on view through Feb. 23, with an opening reception taking place at 6 p.m. on Jan. 19 in the gallery.

Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays for both exhibitions, which are free and open to everyone.

Drawing Discourse

This ninth annual Drawing Discourse exhibition drew a record 1,159 entries from 400 artists in eight countries. Juror Shils selected works by two Asheville artists – Jon Sours and UNC Asheville graduate Lori Brook Johnson – as well as works by well-known portrait artist Tracy Frein, and artist Viviana Santamarina who uses graphite pencils as crochet hooks, and many others.

Shils is a weekly critic at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where he also teaches painting. His work has been presented in solo shows in New York, Philadelphia, Tel Aviv, Boston, Scottsdale, Stuttgart, Los Angeles, Richmond, San Francisco, and Cork (Ireland).

“I prefer when drawing is not predictable, well-mannered or polite,” says Shils “For that reason I welcome the arrival of new or alternative media that question what drawing is or might be. I often tell students that while we may devour the drawings of the past with even erotic pleasure, at the end of the day the people who made them are dead and we are not, and that the real challenge for us is not to imitate those voices, but rather to carry the ball of our own curiosity further down the court, finding our own, sometimes uncertain ways of speaking visually that may or may not look like what is already familiar. What really matters is not technique or style, but shaping an articulate and improvisational narrative on a page, on a surface, or on a screen, whose graphic footprints take the viewer’s eyes and mind on a momentary, but yet exciting adventure.”

David Shurbutt

David Shurbutt, who last year completed his MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and has exhibited his works throughout the Southeast, now works and lives in Asheville. His sculptures feature inexpensive, non-traditional materials. “My intentions are to metaphorically expose the effects of hypermodernity and globalism on human and other animal populations and to criticize the commercialization and commodification of art under late capitalism,” he says.

For information about upcoming exhibitions and UNC Asheville’s Art and Art History Department programs, visit art.unca.edu.

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