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Artist honors her grandfather at Hanes Art Center

Becca Albee never met her grandfather.

But he and his work have inspired Albee’s latest art exhibition, “E.A.R. To the Ground.” It opened Tuesday in the John and June Allcott Gallery at the Hanes Art Center.

Albee — who graduated from UNC’s Master of Fine Arts program in 2000 after studying studio art — named her show after the journalistic work of her grandfather, E.A. Resch.

Resch was editor of The Chatham News in Siler City and had a column with the same name as Albee’s exhibit.

The show’s centerpiece is a collection of articles from The New York Times. Albee replaced photos from articles with her grandfather’s flower photography taken in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

“The pieces end up looking like newspaper clips, maintaining the original headline, photo caption and story joined by my grandfather’s personal pictures,” Albee said.

Accompanying Albee’s hybrid images are blown-up photos from her grandfather’s personal album.

“Everyone will get a chance to see his work the way he arranged it, and the way that he would have seen it,” Albee said.

Albee is an associate photography professor at The City College of New York and has held various fellowships in the past, such as one at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

She employs a variety of media — photography, sculpture and performance ­— to explore a wide range of subject matter.

“All of her work was about feminism, the body, performance and ritual,” said elin o’Hara slavick, a professor in the art department who taught Albee.

“E.A.R. to the Ground” focuses on the United States’ involvement in war.

PlayMakers Repertory Company’s production, “The Making of a King,” also explores the effects of war.

“Many artists feel it is their duty to raise questions about the world around us — to investigate, probe and challenge,” said Jeff Meanza, associate artistic director for PlayMakers. “This is something that has always happened — even in times of great political oppression — and I have an inkling that it will remain so.”

While Albee is not a native North Carolinian, her mother was raised in the state and her grandfather’s work anchors her to the area.

“I wanted to consider the place in which my work was shown,” she said. “I liked the idea of bringing this work back home because of my grandfather’s connection.”

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