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Art exhibition featuring UNC Pembroke students’ work begins April 20

Binding Essence by Ruach Chabash

PEMBROKE, N.C. – An art exhibition featuring artwork by students at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke will be on display April 20 to May 5.

The A.D. Gallery is pleased to present Ruach Chabash, an exhibition featuring the best and most recent work of eight graduating art students.

A reception will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 21 in the A.D. Gallery located in Locklear Hall. The artists will be available to answer questions and offer methods behind their work.

Ruach Chabash is the Hebrew phrase meaning ‘binding essence.’ Each artist explores the experience we know to be life, through aspects of culture, nature, or the connection between both, and their work provides the opportunity to consider the essence that binds it all.

The exhibition combines traditional media, such as painting, drawing, and sculpture, with more recent developments of installation, video, and digital media.

The artists are Joan Blackwell, Cierra Chavis, Javarus Hamer, Immanuel Henderson, Vivienne-Sarai Leaven, Diane Poland, Gabriel Scott and Austin Smith.

Chavis is a painter, whose art shows the viewer that death and beauty can be subjectively ambiguous, relentlessly maddening, and commonly difficult to understand.

Her art is meant to challenge the viewer to face their mortality, while confronting the abnormal things in life. Diane Poland’s narrative ceramic sculpture series, Pathway Series #1, consists of three boots and leaves.

Her work represents the how constant changes in our physical and social environments affect human emotions.

Hamer has always taken an interest in culture, specifically in the realm of the mythological. Responding to his personal development in vastly different parts of the world, his drawings reflect the idea that our similarities speak louder than our differences and that we are all human.

Hamer’s work focuses on divine interpersonal trends and the concept of the triad between divine idols.

Blackwell’s installation art reflects and honors her sacred Lumbee beliefs, life experiences, and her love of mother earth. It also exemplifies her thirst for continued growth in art education.

Leaven’s digital work is based upon the ancient text of the Torah, Tanakh, and the Peshitta. Leaven aims to expose prophecy, identity, race, and war in her art.

Scott is also a digital artist, whose artistic contribution to the show involves digital drawings and paintings that focus heavily on beauty and nature, while also incorporating elements of character and fantasy illustrations within them.

With his art, Scott hopes to provoke a feeling of comfort for the audience with his use of detail and color in each piece.

Henderson uses glitch art to satirically portray the “othering” that takes place when westerners discuss non-western societies. Henderson introduces the audience to the new branch of study, Digital Archaeology.

Smith combines the traditional practice of drawing with the more recent medium of video art. Smith has created an animated short film about a man hoping to propose to his girlfriend, a landscape drawing of bizarre animals, and a forest drawing of a pack of dog-like creatures.

UNC Pembroke is a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina system. For more information, contact Mark Locklear, Public Communications Specialist with University Communications and Marketing, via email ( or by phone (910.521.6351). Connect with UNC Pembroke on social media or online at to learn how the university is changing lives through education.