What: Material Topics Symposium

Theme: Deconstruct/Reconstruct

When: January 12-14th, 2018

Where: Jenkins Fine Arts Center at East Carolina University; E 5th Street and Jarvis

Material Topics Symposium has been a student run and organized event since 2009. It was initially founded by Laura Wood and has been organized in past years by Kat Cole, Laritza Garcia, Marissa Saneholtz, Danielle James, Alison Bailey and Sarah Loch-Test, Barbara McFadyen and Hosanna Rubio, among several others.
Originally, ECU invited students and faculty from only seven universities. Now, we host students and faculty from over 45 institutions ranging from California to Florida. Our attendees experience in metals ranges from beginners, hobbyists, non-metalsmiths, professional jewelers and metal artists, and retired faculty members. Presenters/lecturers are never repeated, are voted on by members of the ECU Metals Guild and then chosen by the incoming committee.

We have a history of bringing in workshop presenters and lecturers who are blazing new trails in the craft fields. Almost all the artists we invite have some tie to the metalsmithing field, but have sometimes branched out to sculpture or other craft fields. We also are bringing in more curators, collectors, and gallery owners to discuss their views on contemporary craft, and particularly where it intersects with adornment and metalsmithing.

Another part of our mission with this symposium is we want to bring an affordable symposium to the south-east. Students are on tight budgets, so we feed you along with your registration. A closing party is part of our community building at the end; it is important that we allow artists –student, faculty, or otherwise– a place and time to mingle and let loose!

2018 Organizers:

Nadia Massoud

Symposium Bio Pic
2018 ECU Material Topics Symposium Co-Chair
3rd Year Graduate Student in Metal Design

Nadia is originally from Durham, North Carolina. She received a BSc in Engineering with a focus in Product Design from Stanford University in 2009, studying with Bill Burnett, John Edmark, and the late Matt Kahn. She discovered her love of casting and creating sculptural jewelry in an undergraduate class with, and later interning for, RedStart Design co-founders Amanda Knox Sather and Sara Shaughnessy. Following a tangent in the culinary arts, she returned to both North Carolina and metals design, studying fabrication and enameling in workshops at the Pullen Arts Center in Raleigh. Her experiences learning from several amazing ECU alumni and faculty at Pullen told her this was the place to come to pursue her graduate studies. She has been exploring the relationship between structure and space in her most recent work, deriving inspiration for her abstract sculptural forms from nature.

Adam Atkinson

adam bio pic

2018 ECU Material Topics Symposium Co-Chair
2nd Year Graduate Student in Metal Design

Adam Atkinson is an artist currently working out of Greenville, NC. He received his BFA from Boise State University in 2013, and is currently pursuing his MFA in Metal Design at East Carolina University. Post undergrad he volunteered extensively for the Seattle Metals Guild, and worked for several jewelers in the Seattle area before attending ECU. He was recently awarded the Educational Endowment Scholarship from the Society of North American Goldsmiths, is a co-founder for the Ripple Effect collaborative exhibition series, and has been exhibited nationally and internationally. His work addresses concepts of identity and the body using animal and figurative imagery. He has recently become enchanted by the world of blacksmithing and intends to make larger works in steel.

Carolina Sephra Reyes

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Exhibition Chair
2nd Year Graduate Student in Metal Design

Carolina Sephra Reyes is a metalsmith, studio artist, and graduate student currently living in Greenville, North Carolina and is working on an MFA in Metals Design from East Carolina University. Her work has been shown at the Yuma Art Symposium in Arizona and at art galleries in Nacogdoches, TX, Las Cruces, NM and Greenville, NC. Her current work deals with the native cacti life in Southern New Mexico where she grew up, and integrating the imagery and metaphorical survival techniques into her current environments. When sheโ€™s not in the studio, she is either working on her herbalism studies or leveling up her Skyrim character.

Carolyn A Buss

Social Media and Marketing Chair
2nd Year Metal Design Graduate Student

Carolyn is from Seattle and received her BFA in Studio Art from Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA in 2012, studying under Keith Lewis. After graduating, she worked as the Jewelry Lab Manager at Edmonds Community College for two years, then moved to Portland, OR to begin working on her production line, and start applying to graduate schools. She chose ECU for the opportunity to organize a symposium, study abroad in Italy with Linda Darty, and work closely with the metals faculty at ECU. Carolyn’s husband Garrett is a science fiction writer moonlighting as a software developer for University Advancement at ECU, and their fluffy, black cat’s name is Senator MacMeowfur.