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Campus Gate Virtual Tour

YHC Art + Design Department Faculty Exhibition

Featuring: Ted Whisenhunt, Dr. Mary Slavkin, Craig Ford, Wendy Slaton, Michael Lalone, Joshua McGowan, Becky Miller and Camden Goddard

The Campus Gate Art Gallery announces the first exhibition of 2021, the YHC Art + Design Department Faculty Exhibition. This exhibition highlights the work of current art + design faculty at Young Harris College, as professional artists, pursuing active studio careers in addition to their teaching endeavors. The group exhibition features sculpture, mixed media, collage, painting, photography, and drawing.
Below you can access the exhibiting artists bio, artist statement and a list of works on exhibit along with images of the exhibition.

This exhibition will be in Campus Gate Art Gallery until Friday, February 19.

About the Artists

Ted Whisenhunt, Professor of Art, Chair of the Art + Design Department
Work on Exhibit: Sculpture, Mixed Media

Ted Whisenhunt, an Alabama native, received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Birmingham-Southern College in 1995. Upon graduation, he studied ornamental iron, blacksmithing, and metal fabrication techniques under noted Birmingham artisan Robert Lehman. After his apprenticeship with Lehman, Ted continued his education at The Florida State University where he earned a Master of Fine Arts Degree in 1998. Since then, he has studied traditional Italian oil painting at the University of Lorenzo de Medici in Florence, Italy during the Summer of 2003. Ted served as the Head of the Art Department at Judson College in
Marion, Alabama for eleven years prior to his arrival at Young Harris College in 2009. Ted is has served as Chair of the Art Department and Professor of Art at Young Harris College for 12 years.

Artist Statement:
Rural Appalachia and life in the early 20th century is the source of inspiration for my recent works. This work also explores movement and viewer interaction by incorporating hand cranked mechanical systems that bring the work to life. I am an Alabama native currently living in the mountains of North Georgia. Both "places" are important to me and are reflected in my artwork.

Dr. Mary Slavkin, Assistant Professor of Art History
Work on Exhibit: Article Selections

Dr. Slavkin joined the YHC faculty in 2014. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the New College of Florida, a master’s degree from Florida State University and a doctorate from The Graduate Center of City University of New York. Mary Slavkin attended a small liberal arts college—New College of Florida— for her undergraduate degree and Florida State University for her masters. She completed her PhD at the Graduate Center of CUNY and taught at Hunter College and Parsons The New School before coming to Young Harris in August 2014. In her classes, Dr. Slavkin attempts to pass on her love of an interdisciplinary approach to the study of art and history. For Dr. Slavkin, art history is a lens through which she can study past cultures and focusing on art allows her to look at many different aspects of other cultures, including differences in terms of literature, philosophy, daily life, religion, and interpersonal relationships.
Artist Statement:
Dr. Slavkin specializes in nineteenth-century French painting and wrote her dissertation on a group of artists who exhibited in Paris between 1892 and 1897 at the Salons of the Rose + Croix. Her research focuses on group dynamics within artistic circles, the use of statistics in art history and the development of the digital humanities, and the use of contemporary art criticism to reconsider the character of artistic groups.

Craig Ford, Adjunct Instructor of Art
Work on Exhibit: Painting

A native of Atlanta GA, Craig Ford is an artist who works primarily in oils. Ford studied art at Young Harris College before transferring to the University of Georgia in Athens, where he majored in graphic design and illustration. He later worked as a designer/illustrator and art director for several agencies before starting his own graphic design business, “Design by Ford,” in 1999. It wasn’t until 2008 that Ford returned to painting. Ford sees himself as a visual storyteller, taking ordinary objects and putting them into different contexts and discovering completely different meanings and ideas in their combinations. Nostalgic icons or everyday items find a place in his compositions; big vividly colored pieces. Ford paints in a realistic, representational style. His work usually contains a concept of some sort but is open to the viewer’s interpretation. “In my artwork, I take ordinary objects and put them into a different context — ordinary objects made extraordinary.” As an adjunct art instructor, Ford has begun his fourth year teaching Oil Painting and Graphic Design (Typography and Advertising) at Young Harris. He enjoys helping to the students improve their skills and talents by passing along useful knowledge needed for careers in the visual arts. He also teaches Drawing and Painting classes at the Roswell Visual Arts Center.
Artist Statement:
Pandemic Life Series
To document my experience and therefore memories of what the 2020 pandemic visually meant to me, I have created a series of portraits of friends, relatives, co-workers, former students as I remember seeing the folks in my life. With a face half covered, I put an extra effort to capture their eyes and thus capture their likeness. This series will forever represent the best of 2020 to me.

Wendy Slaton, Adjunct Instructor of Art
Work on Exhibit: Collage, Mixed Media

Wendy Slaton, received both her BFA and MFA from SMU/Meadows School of the Arts in Dallas, Tx. She considers herself fortunate to have lived and experienced our nation and the world from Seattle, Washington to LaPlace, Alabama; from Budapest, Hungary to Belem, Brazil; from Hong Kong to Venice. She currently lives in Hayesville, North Carolina. Slaton’s work has been exhibited throughout the southeast at the Albany Museum of Art in Georgia; the Birmingham Civil Rights Museum in Alabama; The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, to name a few. Slaton’s art is held in many private collections in the States and beyond. She is represented by Main Street Gallery in Clayton, Georgia. Slaton has taught as an adjunct at YHC for three years, teaching Life Drawing, Concept Studio and Open Studio. She loves the freshness and enthusiasm that her students bring to their artistic endeavors. Each day of teaching is a new opportunity for exploration and connection.
Artist Statement:
This current body of work stems from the synthesis of internal and external impressions generated by thoughts and feelings during the past several months while experiencing a worldwide pandemic and the 2020 election season in the United States, witnessing the effects of division, isolation, and violence on the rule of law, hope, and democracy.

Michael Lalone, Adjunct Instructor of Art
Work on Exhibit: Ceramics

Michael Lalone has been working in clay for over 20 years. He started by taking a teacher recertification class and hasn’t stopped yet. Returning to Dr. Phillips High in Orlando, he proceeded to build one of the nation’s top ceramic programs, teaching at the public-school level for 31 years. Mike would go on to spend 15 years as the resident potter of the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasston, NC where he worked hard to build up the program and bring in top talent. Michael Lalone earned his Masters' degree in studio art at Western Carolina University in 1996. In addition, he has studied the art form at the prestigious Kansas City Art Institute and at Alfred University in New York State with such great American ceramists as Ken Furguson, Val Cushing and Victor Babu. Throughout the years, Lalone’s work has evolved. The most current work is a mid-fired white stoneware body which is both functional and sculptural in form. The pieces are then glazed with a predominately ash glaze that leaves a nice flowing design in the fished work. Mike’s strength is in the love of teaching and sharing what others have so freely given to him. His experiences have allowed him to fulfill his dream of being a person who gives back to others. Mike is currently serves as adjunct iInstructor of Art teaching Ceramics in the Art Department at Young Harris.
Artist Statement:
The range of work done in clay is limitless and I think that play is important to keep my work fresh. In this exhibit, I have included work that is functional and work that is “funky" hence this work is titled "Functional to Funky." My work is a white stoneware fired to cone 6 oxidation. I use the potter's wheel to form the work whether it is my functional pieces or my "dysfunctional tea pots". The glazes are food
safe and the ash glaze is my own invention. Thank you for viewing my work.

Becky Miller, Adjunct Instructor of Art, Director Campus Gate Art Gallery
Work on Exhibit: Paintings

Becky Miller is a Winston-Salem, North Carolina native who lived and worked in Alabama before her recent move to North Georgia. Drawing from the American south and the agrarian landscape, Miller considers her land based work as art artifacts, connecting people to place. Miller received a BS and Art Minor from Wake Forest University in 1985 and an MFA in Painting from the University of Savannah College of Art and Design in 2015. Upon graduation, Miller studied earth pigments in Lacoste, France which began the trajectory of her land based paintings. Miller lives in Blairsville and works at Young Harris College serving as an Adjunct Instructor of Art and the Campus Gate Art Gallery Director. She enjoys teaching Open Studio, Senior Thesis, and Professional Practice classes. Her joy is investing in students, working alongside them to develop meaningful work as cultural producers participating in the dialog of contemporary art. Recognizing the value of completing the artistic circle of making, Miller extends the classroom into the gallery by providing hands on opportunities for students to learn exhibition practices by placing their work into the world.
Artist Statement:
This land based work is the source of inspiration for my current project, the 3309 series. Both are made up of paintings and sculptures that focus on the individuality and history of land materials used as subject matter to document, preserve, and foster story and connection to place. My compositions, landscapes, and shard vessels are primarily made from dirt, clay, soil, and detritus collected from personal sites that evoke the sentiment - the earth is our historian!

Camden Goddard, Adjunct Instructor of Art
Work on Exhibit: Drawing

Camden Goddard is a multi-media artist from North Georgia. Goddard obtained his MFA at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Goddard characterizes his work as painting in the expanded field, with a focus on contemporary landscape. His methods of working include oil painting, drawings, sculpture, and an anthropological approach to collecting.
Artist Statement:
I am interested in the ways in which the man-made and the natural both reject and inform each other. Natural textures, colors, and phenomena, stand out against the geometric and ordered urban space. As urban areas constantly develop, boundaries form where natural and human-made spaces come together. I am interested in this ever-changing delineation and the subtle moments of interaction between the two. This work explores concepts of abstract figures and their presence in space.

Josh McGowan, Visiting Lecturer of Art
Work on exhibit: Large Format Digital Photography

Joshua McGowan is a visual artist who is based in Atlanta and Philadelphia who uses photography, sculpture, found images, new media technologies, and antiquated photographic processes to address questions of perception, presence, and the apparatus of photographic language. His work ranges from large format darkroom prints that investigate portraits detached of identity, to advanced new media images encircling the concept of how time is organized and understood. McGowan received his Teaching in Higher Education Certificate and MFA from Tyler School of in 2019 from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa. He earned his BFA with Distinction in Studio Art with Concentrations in Photography and Graphic Design,Magna Cum Laude, from Piedmont College in Demorest, Ga. in 2016. Joshua McGowan is currently a Visiting Lecturer of Art at Young Harris College and teaches photography, digital art, and video design. Providing technical proficiency and conceptual engagement for both fine art and graphic industry practices is a core focus of McGowan’s engagement with students in the program. “One of the many benefits of our students being engaged in the visual arts is the opportunity to refine lifelong skills such as critical thinking and creative problem solving that will aid individuals well beyond the walls of a classroom.”
Artist Statement:
”Poor Possibility/Rich Realization” Series
Cameras are devices of visual communication, exchanging and conveying information through their own encoded language. Individuals crave translation of the visible world through these devices because it heightens a sense of authority and control over lived experience. However, as photographic and other time-based technologies improve, the distinctions between representation and underlying reality become less distinct. As we accept these representations as alternatives or pretexts to reality, fluency with the camera’s encoded language becomes less than conversational. Through my work, I investigate the photographic apparatus and how it can affect structures of perception, time, and our understanding of reality.

Campus Gate Art Gallery


Campus Gate Art Gallery