UNCP B.A. Senior Capstone
The UNCP A.D. Gallery is pleased to present “2020 Vision Part 2: UNCP B.A. Senior Capstone Online Exhibition,” a show featuring the work of B.A. students Jessie Evans, Levon Vinson, Emmaline Mansfield, Priscila Rivera, and Alei Williams.
Jessie Evans, Artist Statement
I am a proud retired Army veteran of 21 years. As an active duty soldier, I learned to appreciate the cultures that I came across in my travels around the world. I appreciate the exposure this afforded me in the art world. In 1999, when I visited Europe, I was impressed by the beautiful and unbelievable artwork that I saw in the cathedral of Notre Dame, the churches in Bavaria, and the sculptures that aligned the streets in Italy. These visual experiences were stimulating and motivated me to take my first art classes at the University of Maryland in 2000.
In my work I use a combination of painting, ceramics and sculpture. The possibilities of creativity seem endless using these techniques. As I lose myself in my art, it becomes a calming force for the haunting memories of war. After you come back from participating in a war, many soldiers can experience and suffer from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It is not something that you can see or put your finger on, especially if you don’t know what to look for. There are many triggers to setting PTSD off. It could be loud noises, a bag on the side of a road, a stranger on the phone in an alley, a certain smell, or even a crowded place. The list goes on and on.
Alei Williams, Artist Statement
Within the piece “Cotton Blossom”, I hope to elaborate on the concept of the Physiognomic Theory and Phrenology that was used during the Antebellum period to categorize minorities and African slaves based upon facial features and head shapes to measure their intelligence, capabilities, and origin. With “Cotton Blossom”, I am expounding upon how these theories have impacted the mental health of not just minorities, but the mental health of African American women from the Antebellum period to now. Through my work I hope to create a conversation about beauty standards and why certain features are considered more beautiful or acceptable based upon race. By creating this conversation with viewers, I hope to create another outlook, on how created standards of beauty, mental capabilities, and the limitations set due to race. Affects not just African American women socially but emotionally, economically, physically, and mentally.