About the Award
From Grandfather Mountain to the North Carolina Coast, artists living their legacy have been honored since 1986 with the North Carolina Living Treasures designation by the UNC Wilmington Museum of World Cultures.
This recognition celebrates the value of artists and their craft as well as their contributions to education and society. Since its beginning, the biannual honor has recognized boatwrights, potters, luthiers, marqueters, blacksmiths, gunsmiths, weavers and glass artisans and bookbinders, to name a few. These craft artists reflect talents that were developed over decades of study and work, attaining the highest levels of achievement in their respective fields.
The North Carolina Living Treasures Award is made possible by an endowment to UNC Wilmington from Martin Meyerson, M.D., founder of New Hanover Radiation Oncology Center (now known as Coastal Carolina Radiation Oncology Center), in Wilmington, N.C., in memory of his mother, Dorothy Meyerson.
The award was originally conceived by UNCW faculty member Dr. Gerald "Jerry" Shinn who coordinated the process until he retired and moved from Wilmington. Dr. Shinn was influenced by the Japanese, who for centuries have searched their islands to discover outstanding craftsmen, celebrating artitsts' excellence in their craft through national recognition and honors. Dr.Shinn was an enthusiastic educator and a strong advocate for this award.
Focus on Quilting
In previous years, nominations of craft artists who work in any or all of the traditional craft fields were welcome. This year, we have decided to focus on one craft in particular: quilting. In celebration of quilters as craftspeople, we recognize active explorations of both contemporary and traditional artistic practices related to quilts as art.
The 2015 North Carolina Living Treasures Award recipient is Susan Marra, member of the Twin Rivers Quilters Guild in New Bern, North Carolina. Marra began quilting twenty five years ago when an unfinished quilt, in a traditional Sun Bonnet Sue pattern, came into her possession. Despite technology's presence in the craft of quilting today, Marra prefers the traditional art form of quilting by hand. Additionally, her chosen style of work is applique quilting, a technique which she feels allows her "the freedom to control every aspect of the design."
Exhibit and Reception
The 2015 North Carolina Living Treasures exhibit and reception will be held in the CAB Art Gallery. The exhibit and reception is co-hosted by UNCW's Department of Art & Art History and UNCW's Randall Library. Details about the exhibit and reception follow:
Thursday, August 27th 5:30-7:00 pm
CAB Art Gallery
Friday, August 28th 10:00-11:00 am
Cultural Arts Building
Exhibit on Display
August 27th-September 24th, 2015
Monday-Friday, 12:00-4:00 pm
CAB Art Gallery