Museum debuts exhibit by Durham artist
BY SAM CLARK
SNOW HILL—The Greene County Museum held an opening reception Thursday for its new exhibit, “The Great Awakening: Out of Darkness,” that features the work of Durham artist Alyssa Hinton.
Hinton’s mixed media pieces use vibrant colors and natural imagery to convey a theme of cultural transformation that harkens back to her Native American heritage. She has won multiple awards ranging from the highly coveted Mid-Atlantic/NEA Regional Painting Fellowship to an Art for Indigenous Survival grant through the U.N. Life Bridge Foundation and has been featured on television and in various publications, including Native Peoples Magazine, Aboriginal Voices Magazine and Random House’s Official Price Guide to Native American Art.
“I think what’s unique about this (exhibit) is the artist’s background,” said Kay Barrow, a member of the museum’s board of directors. “She has brought in her ties with Tuscarora and Osage Native Americans into the subject matter for a lot of these.”
In fact it was Hinton’s Tuscarora heritage that first got her connected with the Greene County Museum, according to Sharon Ginn, the director of the Greene County Museum.
“She came for the Nooherooka 300 exhibit last year because she has some Tuscarora ancestry. She brought some of her work at the time and said if we were interested she would like to show with us,” Ginn said, adding she was very pleased to be able to display Hinton’s work because of its unique medium and subject matter. “This work is very unique — we’ve not had an exhibit with this kind of artist before so we’re very pleased to be able to branch out and find other medias and other forms of art.”
Edward Morgan, another member of the museum board, who attended Thursday’s reception, was happy to see Greene County host another talented artist, despite being unfamiliar with her style of work.
“I’m not that strong in abstract art, but the exhibit is very good — I see some very good things,” Morgan said. “Greene County needs some artists to come in, all kinds really. I think it’s very good that we could get her, we need all the culture we can get.”
The landscape of collage artwork has been changing over the years as digital art has become more and more prevalent, Barrow explained.
“It used to be, when collage first started, they were making them out of anything they could find,” Barrow said. “Actual cloth or cigar wrappers, photographs, stuff like that. Now a lot of it is digital.”
This growing style of expression is unique and represents another step in the evolution of visual art, Barrow added.
“I think her works are very interesting and eye-catching,” she said. “I think a lot of people don’t realize what digital media can be. In some ways it’s just like photography — at one point it was used only as a way of recording history, but eventually it became an art form in and of itself.”
The exhibit runs through Dec. 31. The Greene County Museum, 107 N.W. Third St., Snow Hill, is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, call 252-747-1999.