New exhibition at Waterworks: Personal Narratives . Relationships . Identity

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 1, 2017

The beginning of June marks the opening of a new exhibition year at Waterworks. Visitors to the museum will have the opportunity to view a site-specific installation by Charlotte-based, South Korean artist Rocyeun Kim exploring personal narratives, relationships and identity.

Also on view will be a collection of illuminated wall sculptures by Raleigh-based neon artist Nate Sheaffer.

An exciting addition to the exhibition will be a pop-up Makerspace in the YPG Gallery, which will allow visitors, regardless of age, to create and take home their own piece of art.

The opening reception will be Friday, June 2.

Artist Rocyeun Kim describes her work as “personal narrative and identity based on relationships between myself and others.” Kim will seek to reveal her “spiritual self” through the construction of this on-site installation piece called you and I.

She uses fibers like string, yarn or twine to show how she is “bound by societal responsibilities, as if by an invisible string.” These “strings” often get tangled and intertwined, just like the relationships in our own lives. One quick movement in any direction can cause these “strings” or our relationships to become hopelessly snarled and knotted.

Kim will install this piece in Waterworks’ Osborne and Woodson Galleries with the help of several college fine arts majors. Kim is a native of South Korea and earned her MFA from Maryland Institute, College of Fine Art, and a BFA and MFA in Western Painting from Chung Ang University, Seoul, South Korea. She lives in Charlotte.

Nate Sheaffer has a long and varied history with neon. He started off building large assemblies of found steel objects that were welded and held together with bolts. In 1984, his then instructor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill suggested he “put some neon on those things” and that was all the prodding needed to start using neon as his medium. He majored in German at UNC, but also studied art.

Sheaffer is a Raleigh-based fabrication specialist and neon artist who will be showing neon lit wall sculpture specifically created for this exhibition. His collection, Torso Series, made in collaboration with fellow artist and friend Louis St. Lewis of New Orleans, will debut at this show.

For Sheaffer, getting back to making art full time was a process. He is by trade a neon fabricator, so his commercial endeavors left him little time to create purely for art’s sake. Fast forward to 2012, as a stay-at-home dad, his children are in elementary school and he finds himself with big blocks of time. Time had not dampened his desire to make art; in fact he found that exuberant urge to create was alive and well, itching to be unleashed. Sheaffer’s work is featured in the Norvell Gallery.

Pop-Up Exhibition – Peace Circle and Makerspace

The YPG Gallery will play host to the Peace Circle, displaying artworks and poems created by Rowan County middle and high school students, made in response to a youth workshop titled, “What is your Role in the Village?” This workshop sponsored by the Peace Circle, a community-based initiative that promotes open and honest dialogue, and led by Carla Marlin Smith, parent education specialist for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.

Showcasing for the first time in Waterworks’ YPG Gallery is a new and exciting component, Makerspace. Inspired by Rocyeun Kim’s work, this hands-on, synergistic workspace allows visitors the opportunity to create, learn and share their artworks.

Each participant can make and take home an individual piece of art. Waterworks encourages everyone to come out and be a part of this wonderful community building exercise in art.

Dare to Imagine Award

This year’s Dare to Imagine Award winner is Catherine Traina. She is a senior visual arts student of Dr. Mark Riley at Jesse C. Carson High School in China Grove.

Traina’s solo show opened in conjunction with the museum’s summer exhibitions on May 27.

A Meet-the-Artists and public opening reception will be held on Friday, June 2, 6-8 p.m. Traina’s award will be presented during the reception.

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