Former professor's art on display in Greenbridge


Former UNC associate professor Kimowan Metchewais looking at his work from within his studio. Metchewais is the featured artist of LIGHT: Art and Design’s gallery on display in the Greenbridge building.

On Friday, the works of former UNC associate professor Kimowan Metchewais were put on display in the Greenbridge Developments building.

Metchewais’ works are being featured in the fourth exhibit held by LIGHT: Art and Design, a new art and furnishing studio started by owner Cindy Spuria in December , said marketing manager Carrie Moore.

“(Spuria) has always been passionate about art,” Moore said. “In the past she’d showcase works at her house, but now she has LIGHT.”

Hailing from a Canadian Cree Indian reservation, Metchewais worked within the art department, specializing in studio art. He was awarded the Minority Post-Doctoral Fellowship in 2000, and became an associate professor a few years later, said Jim Hirschfield, department chairman.

“His artwork is incredibly poetic,” Hirschfield said. “He’s always been pushing new boundaries.”

Metchewais has been struggling with complications arising from a brain tumor he was diagnosed with prior to joining UNC faculty more than 10 years ago. He left UNC last semester due to illness, said Hirschfield.

“He was a great artist, a great teacher,” Hirschfield said. “He will be sorely missed.”

Spuria said that she and Metchewais have been in talks for the past few months preparing for the event. Spuria said she finds his blend of Indian culture and life experiences unique.

“There’s a sarcasm to some of his work. He’s very much a storyteller, very funny, but also very deep,” Spuria said. “He says about his work that all of it tells a story, but it’s also important that it be a really good piece of art.”

Today will serve as a continuation of the exhibit’s opening, in which they will attempt to speak with Metchewais via Skype, said Spuria. In addition, his close friends will perform the hoop dance, a traditional Native American form of storytelling dance. The exhibit will be on display until August 6.

“It’ll be interesting to see, in one place, the development I’ve watched over the years,” Hirschfield said.

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