Arts Lecture Series

Arts Council of Moore County
& Sandhills Community College


Sponsored by
Sofie D. Moyle | Paula Weiss | FORE Properties

Sargent’s Boats at Anchor, 1917

The Watercolors
of John Singer Sargent

Wed., March 23, 2022 at 4:00 PM
Lecturer: Ellen Burke

John Singer Sargent personified the gilded age. His portraits and oil paintings, capturing both the spirit of modern life and the grandeur of the old masters, won acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. By the early 20th century Sargent had grown tired of portraiture, telling a friend oil painting had “grown stale” for him and that his newly preferred  medium, watercolor, allowed him to work outside his studio and would “keep up his morale.” Join us as we explore the journey Sargent took with his watercolors from the canals of Venice, the Boboli Gardens of Florence, the Valle d’Aosta region, and the Holy Land to name a few. These confident bold watercolors reflect his renewed creative spirit, his intimate affection for the friends who traveled with him and the beautiful and exotic places he loved.

LECTURER: Ellen Burke is an art educator with 37 years of experience as a studio instructor and fine and performing arts administrator. In addition to teaching in Massachusetts, she was an adjunct instructor in art education at the New Hampshire Art Institute. Since moving to Pinehurst she has presented art lectures at local galleries and teaches small group art lessons to children and adults.

Check out the radio interview on our Arts Lectures Series with Ellen Burke & Chris Dunn, thanks to Bill Sahadi of FORE Properties and the fine folks at WEEB 97.3FM / 990AM:

Kota, Obamba, or Ndumu artist, Gabon, Reliquary Guardian Figure, 19th century

How African Metal Arts Inspired
& Empowered African Lives

Wed., April 13, 2022 at 4:00 PM
Lecturer: Susan Cooksey

African metal artists have transformed and enriched lives by creating exquisite personal adornments relaying wealth and status, ostentatious regalia elevating the role of leadership, powerful amulets invoking spiritual protection and healing, and superbly inventive currencies allowing exchange through vast trade networks. This lecture will highlight masterful artworks of iron, gold, silver, copper, and its alloys and how they inspired new directions and forged lasting meanings in African societies.

LECTURER: Susan Cooksey, curator emerita of the Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida. During her curatorial career spanning nearly 20 years, she made a significant impact on the development of the Harn’s collection and exhibitions of African art. Cooksey curated the traveling exhibition, Peace, Power & Prestige: Metal Arts in Africa, and edited the accompanying publication.

Fred Johnston

Ben Owen III

Design & Inspiration
in Clay

Wed., May 4, 2022 at 4:00 PM
Lecturers: Fred Johnston & Ben Owen III

For more than two-and-a-half centuries the handmade pottery industry has flourished in the Seagrove area, including parts of Moore County, NC. Two well-known potters, Ben Owen III and Fred Johnston, will present their perspectives of the creative expression, the wood-firing process, as well as enduring design influences in clay. The presenters will emphasize artists’ influences from historical perspectives and cultures, elements of nature serving as a library of inspiration, and interaction with an enthusiastic audience that encourages innovation in design and process to compliment an educated, art-minded collector base.

LECTURERS: Fred Johnston learned to make pots in the Seagrove area in the 1980’s. After attending Montgomery Community College, he earned a BFA from New York State School at Alfred University and an MFA from Penn State University. He and his wife, Carol Gentithes, established Johnston & Gentithes Art Pottery in Seagrove in 1997. His work is exhibited nationally and internationally and widely collected.

Ben Owen III’s family has had NC clay on their hands since colonial times. Ben spent countless hours learning the pottery trade from his grandfather, Master Potter Ben Owen Sr. At East Carolina University, he developed his own unique approach to pottery. After a ceramics residency in Japan, he returned to Seagrove where he and his wife, LoriAnn, operate Ben Owen Pottery.

Bamileke Tso Scream Mask, wood, pigment, fiber, beads, & textile

Notes from the Field

Wed., May 18, 2022 at 4:00 PM
Lecturer: Amanda Maples

Get a sneak peak of the major traveling exhibit, New Masks Now: Artists Innovating Masquerade in Contemporary West Africa. Lead Curator Amanda Maples returns from conducting fieldwork in Freetown, Sierra Leone with masquerade artist Sheku “Goldenfinger” Fofanah. She will present her research findings and place the work of Fofanah within the context of the exhibit, which include art and voices of individual creators and their motivations, artistic choices, patronage, economic networks, and how they adapt their respective genres in response to current global circumstances. Maples offers a fresh take on the vitality of masquerade arts, making clear that creativity in African masking is fundamentally contemporary and challenging assumptions that masquerade is an unchanging, static artform solely rooted to the distant past.

LECTURER: Amanda Maples is the Curator of African Art at the NC Museum of Art and a guest curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art. She earned her B.A. in Anthropology at UNC at Chapel Hill, M.A. in Visual Anthropology at University of Kent in Canterbury, UK, and Ph.D. in Visual Studies at University of California in Santa Cruz. Some of her research interests include African visual culture and African performance arts.

COST:  $26 per lecture | $90 for all 4 lectures | Students are free with advance registration

All lectures presented in McPherson Theater at Sandhills Community College
(Across the breezeway from Owens Auditorium at 3395 Airpot Rd., Pinehurst)

Space limited. Reserve your space now with full payment at the Arts Council’s offices
(Campbell House, 482 E. Connecticut Ave., So. Pines) or call 910-692–ARTS (2787)