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Nicholls artists spotlighted from Missouri to Korea

THIBODAUX – Unique works of art by two Nicholls State University faculty members have received broad acclaim in recent months.

Trisha Z. Dubina, instructor of graphic design, has an eye for everyday experiences, and New Orleans native Jean Donegan, professor of art and coordinator of the Division of Art, has an eye for destruction – specifically, biblical destruction depicted on teapots and candle holders.

The art of Trisha Z. Dubina focuses on “simple objects or experiences that most people take for granted.”

The art of Trisha Z. Dubina focuses on “simple objects or experiences that most people take for granted.”

A national, juried exhibition at the Foundry Art Centre in St. Charles, Mo., will feature two handmade books by Dubina until Friday, June 5.

The larger book – digitally printed and bound in a medical folder, the purpose for which is revealed at the end of the book – contains three stories centered around a found photograph. Each story leads to the next, with a surprise ending.

The smaller book is about walking, which Dubina said is a major source of inspiration for artists and writers. Each page has a quote, accompanied by hand sewn lines to represent the act of walking.

“Found objects and the micro aesthetic threads of our everyday lives, as seen in these two books, really inspire my work,” Dubina said. “Simple objects or experiences that most people take for granted provide a certain sense of curiosity for me. I enjoy taking a step back from my busy life to wonder about those things. Where have they been? Who has touched them, and what impact can having these things or experiences say about us?”

Jean Donegan displays a ceramic sculpture called the “Sodom and Gomorrah Teapot.”

Jean Donegan displays a ceramic sculpture called the “Sodom and Gomorrah Teapot.”

Donegan’s sculptures, twice honored in recent months, have been displayed in such varied locations as Pennsylvania and the Republic of Korea.

A ceramic teapot titled “Sodom and Gomorrah” was selected for inclusion in Craftsforms 2008, the 14th annual International Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Craft in Wayne, Penn. The exhibition was hosted by the Wayne Art Center in 2008.

More recently, a ceramic candle holder titled “It’s a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight” was chosen for exhibition at the 5th World Ceramic Biennale 2009, conducted at the Icheon World Ceramic Center in the Republic of Korea. On display until the end of April, the candle holder is among 186 works juried from 3,196 international submissions – 39 of which came from the United States.

A Thibodaux resident since 1978, Donegan said her artistic inspiration results from her Catholic upbringing and education.

“I love Bible stories,” she said.

And she has no plans to abandon the theme anytime soon. Having created three Sodom and Gomorrah-themed ceramics so far, Donegan said the “biblical destruction will continue.”

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