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Acquisition News


The Weatherspoon is thrilled to announce the acquisition of an important series of drawings by artist and UNC Greensboro alum Sherrill Roland ’09, MFA ’16. Just before his final year at the University, Roland was wrongfully convicted of a crime and sent to prison. Though he was eventually exonerated, his experience lives on in his series, titled Artforus: November 2013–Summer 2014 Issues. Made from the art magazines that Roland received while in prison, the works reflect on his devastating months behind bars. After saving bits from each of the magazine covers, he ground the pages into a pulp from which he made new sheets of paper that he then covered in texts and images drawn from the mail he received in jail, the Bible passages he read in the prison chapel, and pages from his journals. The compositions offer a record of vulnerability and resilience—both Roland’s and his community’s. As he points out, prison changes the lives of both those incarcerated and those who love them.

As part of last fall’s Art on Paper exhibition, these artworks were carefully studied on multiple visits by students in the Residential College Global Engagement and Intercultural Learning Seminar and ultimately served as inspiration for the course’s final project. The Weatherspoon is honored that this work will remain at UNC Greensboro as part of the museum’s collection and a resource for future students and community members.

Images: Sherrill Roland, Artforus: February 2014 Issue, 2018. ArtForum International Magazine (February 2014), toilet paper, primer paint, Kool-Aid, Sharpie marker, ink, and steel, 28 x 24 in. Weatherspoon Art Museum, UNC Greensboro. Purchase with funds from the Weatherspoon Art Museum Acquisition Endowment for the Dillard Collection, 2021.8.4. © Sherrill Roland

Sherrill Roland, Artforus: April 2014 Issue, 2018. ArtForum International Magazine (April 2014), toilet paper, legal paper pad, primer paint, Kool-Aid, Sharpie marker, ink, and steel, 26 x 24 in. Weatherspoon Art Museum, UNC Greensboro. Purchase with funds from the Weatherspoon Art Museum Acquisition Endowment for the Dillard Collection, 2021.8.6. © Sherrill Roland

Students enrolled in the Residential College Global Engagement and Intercultural Learning Seminar taught by Sarah Colonna, Associate Faculty Chair, Grogan College, in front of Artforus by Sherrill Roland, August 2021.


The Weatherspoon is excited to announce its acquisition of a newly commissioned work by artist Nate Lewis, whose practice brings together interests in art, science, and history. Lewis worked for years as an intensive care nurse. That experience of physically attending to the human body and understanding its complexities through medical imagery is critical to his work. Layering patterns and textures into altered photographs, he challenges us to look deeply from multiple perspectives—to see in a manner similar to how doctors use scans, tests, and samples to collectively understand an illness.

The work Lewis elected to make for the Weatherspoon is one of many he has based on photographs of Southern monuments, here a statue of Charles Aycock, long known as North Carolina’s “Education Governor.” While Aycock did advocate for public school reforms, his nickname recalls only part of his biography. Aycock was also a White supremacist who campaigned for the disenfranchisement of Black citizens and agitated for a coup that decimated the Black community of Wilmington in 1898. Cutting through a photograph of the stone statue and combining it with depictions of internal organs, Lewis dissects our image of Aycock—reminding us that history is rarely as straightforward as monuments suggest.

Nate Lewis, Probing the Land 9 (Charles Aycock, after the fire), 2021. Hand-sculpted inkjet print, ink, frottage, and graphite; 70 x 32 in. Weatherspoon Art Museum, UNC Greensboro. Museum purchase with funds from the Weatherspoon Art Museum Acquisition Endowment for the Dillard Collection, 2021.10. © Nate Lewis


Faith Ringgold (born 1930) is perhaps one the most intergenerationally recognized and revered artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. A civil rights activist, painter, sculptor, printmaker, performance artist, and writer, Ringgold created paintings and prints in the 1960s and 70s that argue as loudly now as ever against oppression and institutional racism. Ringgold is perhaps best known, however, for her painted story quilts that weave personal and collective histories to tell a new story of living in America.

Coming to Jones Road Print #2: Under a Blood Red Sky is the first work by Ringgold to enter the Weatherspoon’s collection. The work is silkscreened on #12 cotton duck and its pieced border is commercially printed fabric that was then tie-dyed, hand-dyed, and hand quilted. The words are hand written by Ringgold with a Sharpie permanent marker. This work was completed on February 19, 2001.

This quilt is part of Ringgold’s Coming to Jones Road series that she began creating in 1999 based on Coming to Jones Road, a story of welcome and acceptance. Told over several quilts, it follows the northward journey in 1792 of 28 slaves who left the cotton fields of a Southern plantation for freedom and a supportive community. Ringgold has written the entire story on the quilt in black lettering. The central image depicts the individuals—both adults and children—as they make progress over many nights, their “way lit only by a chalk-white moon in a blood red sky.”

Jones Road is also the street in New Jersey that the artist and her husband moved to in 1992. Born Faith Will Jones in Harlem, New York, Ringgold initially imagined that this move to a street sharing her given name might feel like “coming home.” However, she experienced prejudice from and rejection by its residents. The artist’s weaving together of personal and historically derived narratives challenges the popular history of the Underground Railroad as being a linear story of “from” slavery “to” freedom, and points up the racially-motivated obstacles that continue to persist at the end of a journey and alongside a new beginning.

Coming to Jones Road Print #2: Under a Blood Red Sky by Faith Ringgold is the first work at the Weatherspoon that directly addresses the history of the Underground Railroad. Works in the collection that it thematically complements include a series of lithographs by Glenn Ligon titled Runaways (2002), a series of prints titled Ghosts (2009) by Juan Logan, and a textile by Sanford Biggers titled Paket (2016). While Logan and Biggers work in the language of abstraction, Ringgold joins Ligon in bringing together text and image to complicate existing narratives and write new ones. Images of all these works can be found on our searchable collections database, available through the museum’s website.

Acquiring this work by a Black woman artist adds a new voice to the conversation in Greensboro, a city known for its participation in the Underground Railroad. We are looking forward to exhibiting the quilt in our public galleries, and having it studied by UNC Greensboro and K–12 students in the future.

Thank you to the many Weatherspoon supporters for making this acquisition possible and to UNC Greensboro senior and 2020–21 Weatherspoon student employee Najah Young Farrington who assisted in researching this work.

Anne and Ben Cone Memorial Endowed Director

Faith Ringgold, Coming to Jones Road Print #2: Under a Blood Red Sky, 2001. Silkscreen on canvas quilt, 41 x 47 in. Edition 4/20. Weatherspoon Art Museum, UNC Greensboro. Benefactors Choice Purchase in honor of the Weatherspoon Art Museum Benefactors, 2002–2021; 2021.7. © 2021 Faith Ringgold / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, Courtesy ACA Galleries, New York


The Weatherspoon is excited to announce the acquisition of two drawings and stop-motion videos by artist and Greensboro native Jason Mitcham. Roadway Horizon #4 and Battlefield come from the artist’s poignant series Destiny Manifested. Mitcham describes the project as an examination of the American landscape focused on better understanding how our constructed environments “divide us, corral us, and ensure a power structure as we become a part of them, and they become a part of us.”

Read an interview with the artist and view both works HERE.

Jason Mitcham, Battlefield, 2020. India ink on paper, 22 x 30 in. Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Museum purchase with funds from the Weatherspoon Art Museum Acquisition Endowment, 2021.1a. © Jason Mitcham Studio LLC. All rights reserved


Repent is part of a series of six prints by Joyce J. Scott entitled Soul Erased that delicately addresses the theme of bad behavior. The six ethereal images tell the story of a mischievous Black boy who gets into trouble in his community. His wayward conduct leads an angel to warn him that unless he stops misbehaving, he will be taken away. When no change transpires, two angels remove him and hang him upside down so that he can be reborn again and given another chance. Repent illustrates the moment in the story when the dancing, carefree boy encounters and is cautioned about misbehaving by the flaming red angel. This print exemplifies Scott’s lifelong spirituality, and the series is one of her most ambitious forays into printmaking to date.

Best known for her exuberant jewelry and figurative sculptures made of blown glass and beads, two of which are also part of the Weatherspoon’s collection, Scott is a fiber artist, printmaker, performer, vocalist, installation practitioner, lecturer, and educator. In 2016 she received a MacArthur “Genius” Award and in 2019 was named a Smithsonian Institute Visionary Artist. Scott creates intriguing objects rife with sharp social commentary and drawn from her African American heritage, including such themes as cultural stereotypes, violence, racism, classism, and sexism.

Joyce J. Scott, Repent, 1999, from the series Soul Erased. Lithograph, screenprint, and embossing on paper, 30 x 22 in. Edition III/ X, plus 20 numbered proofs. Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Gift of Amy Eva Raehse and David Tomasko, 2020.12.2. © Joyce J. Scott and Goya Contemporary Gallery, Baltimore


Eight works on paper by self-taught artist James Castle recently were donated to the Weatherspoon by the artist’s archive. Museum visitors may recall seeing Castle’s soot drawings in the exhibition, Inside the Outside: Artists from the William Louis-Dreyfus Foundation in 2016. Although diverse in theme—from landscape and figures to cultural products and advertising—each drawing illustrates the artist’s interest in line, shape, and tonal smudges.

Castle lived in isolation his entire life due to location and condition. Deaf and mute, he resided on remote family ranches in Idaho, far away from any art communities. Castle’s parents were rural postmasters whose home also served as a general store. The family’s businesses inspired the artist, who used paper from mail catalogues and advertisements for groceries as art materials. Castle also repurposed the packaging, twine, heavy cloth, and leather that were a part of the family businesses as inspiration and artistic materials. In addition, he created his own inks and graphite from soot collected from the wood-burning stove and other crushed materials mixed with his saliva. The Weatherspoon is pleased to add these striking drawings to its renowned collection of works on paper.

James Castle, Untitled (Distant Farmscape), not dated. Soot on butcher’s paper, 6 1/4 x 8 1/2 in. Weatherspoon Art Museum. Gift of James Castle Collection and Archive LP in honor of William Louis-Dreyfus and Nancy Doll, 2020.8.1. © James Castle Collection and Archive LP


Thanks to a generous gift from Seymour and Carol Cole Levin, the Weatherspoon is honored to add to its collection two artworks by Gina Adams, both of which are currently featured in To the Hoop: Basketball and Contemporary Art. Acknowledging both her Native and colonial ancestry, Adams mines histories of cultural preservation and forced assimilation. In that context, basketball holds mixed connotations for her. She acknowledges that many Native Americans see the game as a path to both higher education and acceptance into popular culture. But, she also notes that basketball’s history in Native communities goes back to early twentieth-century boarding schools that forced indigenous students to assimilate to White culture. Covered with her own hybrid vocabulary of designs inspired by those found in Native arts, Adams’s ceramic basketball and enlarged archival photograph bear witness to these conflicting associations.

Gina Adams, Honoring Modern Unidentified 27, Spirit That Remains, 2015. Oil and encaustic on ceramic, 9 in. diameter. Weatherspoon Art Museum. Purchased with funds from the Carol and Seymour Levin Acquisition Endowment, 2020.5.1. © Gina Adams, photo by Aaron Paden, courtesy of the artist and Accola Griefen Fine Art, Brooklyn

Gina Adams, Girls Native American Indian Basketball Team I, 2016. Photograph, oil, and encaustic, 30 x 30 in. Weatherspoon Art Museum. Purchased with funds from the Carol and Seymour Levin Acquisition Endowment, 2020.5.2. © Gina Adams, photo by Aaron Paden, courtesy of the artist and Accola Griefen Fine Art, Brooklyn


William Christenberry is known for his elegiac photographs made largely in Hale County, a small rural area in central Alabama. His images memorialize the South and speak without nostalgia of the passage of time and how the past is embedded in our experience of the present.

At the start of his career, Christenberry used a Kodak Brownie camera he’d been gifted as a child to photograph images as studies for the content of paintings. His first photographs were black and white portraits of ramshackled buildings, as here. Soon thereafter he began to use color film in an effort to capture a sense of the presence of the original structures within the surrounding landscape of rural Alabama. The Weatherspoon owns one of these later images as well.

Near Stewart Alabama illustrates Christenberry’s relationship with Walker Evans, an earlier American photographer who had visited Hale County, Alabama, on assignment for the Farm Service Administration and then again in 1936 for Fortune Magazine along with the writer James Agee, gathering material that formed the basis of their 1941 book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. The book had a profound influence on Christenberry; in turn, when Evans met the younger artist in the early 1960s, he called Christenberry’s Brownie photographs “perfect little poems.”

William Christenberry, Near Stewart, Alabama, 1960 (detail, printed later). Gelatin silver print, Brownie negative, 4 1/4 x 6 1/2 in. Weatherspoon Art Museum. Purchased with funds from the Burlington Industries Endowment, 2020.7. © The Estate of William Christenberry / Hemphill Artworks LLC


Elizabeth Talford Scott's title for this artwork cites the traditional craft techniques used in its creation and evokes its narrative theme. As is typical of Scott’s quilts and wall works, the piece is composed of everyday materials–here simply cotton and thread–and features intense colors. Scott often utilized techniques based on African craft traditions, such as stripping, piecing, and appliqué, and included symbols of (or actual elements from) the natural world–from rocks and buttons to stars and insects–as both personal spiritual references and as a means to elicit emotions in the viewer. Through such abstraction, she drew upon memory to chronicle her own family’s life experiences and, by extension, that of the broader African-American community, offering joy, respite, and celebration while engaging the past.

During her lifetime Scott exhibited in New York at the Studio Museum of Harlem, the Museum of American Folk Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 1998, the Maryland Institute College of Art mounted a retrospective exhibition titled Eyewinkers, Tumbleturds, and Candlebugs: The Art of Elizabeth Talford Scott, which featured Knots and Snakes.

Elizabeth Talford Scott, Knots and Snakes, 1982 (detail). Stitched quilt and fiber media, 25 x 21 in. Weatherspoon Art Museum. Gift of Carol Cole Levin in memory of Betty Beatrice Person, 2019.30. © Joyce J. Scott and Goya Contemporary Gallery


What motivates people, at great expense of time, money, and effort, to visit famous sites of wonder and curiosity? In the early 1980s, Roger Minick sought to find out. Minick is widely known for his series of photographs called Sightseer that documented tourists visiting national parks across the United States. Woman with Scarf at Inspiration Point, Yosemite National Park, California belongs to this series and is Minick’s most famous image.

Unlike earlier landscape photographers who primarily were attracted to nature’s grandeur, such as Carleton Watkins, Eadweard Muybridge, and Ansel Adams, Minick was more interested in capturing the cross-section of sightseers who visited these historic sites. Created just as he started using color film, the series conveys the irony and humor he saw in the vivid colors and illuminating styles of the sightseers’ clothing, especially when juxtaposed against the surrounding landscape. This image shows a woman with her back to the photographer admiring the breath-taking view—one that happens to be printed on her headscarf that she likely purchased from Yosemite’s gift shop. Her position posed between two crevices also mimics that of the waterfall printed on the scarf. Minick’s image succinctly transmits the awe of encountering something of iconic beauty, the tradition of taking the obligatory snapshot to prove that you witnessed it, and the acquisition of a souvenir to commemorate the experience.

Roger Minick, Woman with Scarf at Inspiration Point, Yosemite National Park, California, 1980 (detail), from the series Sightseer. Chromogenic pigment print, 16 x 20 in. Edition 7/50. Weatherspoon Art Museum. Gift of Charles Weinraub and Emily Kass, in honor of Nancy Doll, 2019.24.11

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Weatherspoon Art Museum
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