Smith Gallery Presents: Southern Constellations: Selections from Elsewhere Museum's Curatorial Initiative Supporting Experimental Art Practice in the South

November 3, 2014

Smith Gallery at Appalachian State University presents Southern Constellations: Selections from Elsewhere Museum’s curatorial initiative supporting experimental art practice in the South. This new exhibition includes select works from artists participating in the Southern Constellations program at Elsewhere Museum in Greensboro, NC.Southern Constellations is curated by Jennie Carlisle and Cyrus Smith and will be on view from October 31 to November 18, 2014 at the Smith Gallery. On November 13, 2014, the gallery will host three public events in conjunction with the exhibition.

Elsewhere Museum is an artist-run non-profit contemporary art organization, set in a former thrift store in downtown Greensboro. Utilizing the massive 58-year inventory, Elsewhere’s environment of art and everyday objects invokes new modes for creative response, living, doing and exchanging in its downtown neighborhood and across the world. Through an annual process of peer nomination, six Southern Constellations fellows from across the region participate in Elsewhere Museum’s residency program. This exhibition includes select projects that investigate the museum and its dense collection of material from popular culture. While each work speaks to a unique set of concerns, the artists respond to the unique conditions of the museum, its material resources, and local community.

Southern Constellations features works in a variety of materials and processes from artists Lee Deigaard, Andrew Raffo Dewar, Nikita Gale, Hillerbrand+Magsaman, Nsenga Knight, John Q,Melissa Vandenberg, Izel Vargas, Stacy Lynn Waddell and Martha Whittington.

Public Events

On November 13th, the Gallery will host three events that are free and open to the public.  

Art Start-Up, imagining and sustaining an artist run organization

Elsewhere's Executive Director George Scheer will explore ways to support and develop creative missions while navigating grants, private giving, and earned incomes. This seminar is on November 13 at 12 pm in room 212 in Wey Hall.

Artist as Curator/ Curator as Artist.

Elsewhere's Production Curator Jennie Carlisle discusses processes at the museum that blur and overlap traditional roles of art and production and presentation, as well as the development of this trend in contemporary exhibition practices. This seminar is on November 13 at 1 pm in room 212 in Wey Hall.

Musical Performance and Celebration

Appalachian State University faculty member Todd Wright and Hayes School of Music students including Nic Pressley, Grant Smith and Tyler Piette will play musical scores created by Andrew Raffo Dewar in a musical performance. The event is on November 13 from 5 to 6:30 pm with the musical performance beginning at 5:15 pm in the Smith Gallery.

About the Artists

Lee Deigaard’s work explores animal protagonists and the emotional spaces and physical landscapes where humans and animals cohabitate.  She graduated from Yale University with a major in fine arts and earned graduate degrees from the University of Michigan School of Art and Design and from the University of Texas at Austin, and has lived and worked in New Orleans since 2002. 

Andrew Raffo Dewar is a composer, soprano saxophonist, ethnomusicologist, educator, and arts organizer.  He is an assistant professor in the experimental, interdisciplinary New Collegeat the University of Alabama, co-director of the University’s Creative Campus arts and culture initiative, and founding artistic director of UA’s Sonic Frontiers concert series for innovative and experimental music.

Nikita Gale is a self-taught conceptual artist based in Atlanta, Georgia.  She holds a BA in Anthropology and Archaeological Studies from Yale University.

Hillerbrand+Magsamen are a collaborative husband and wife visual artist team comprised of Stephan Hillerbrand and Mary Magsamen. Based in Houston, Texas their interdisciplinary projects explore family identity, everyday interactions and consumer culture.

Nsenga Knight is an interdisciplinary artist and filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Film at Howard University and a Masters of Fine Arts degree at the University of Pennsylvania.

John Q is an idea collective whose name references “John Q. Public.” The “public” is left understood, though the work is considered a kind of public scholarship, and the “Q” is left hanging to reference the group’s interest in queer history and politics.  Members are Joey Orr, who holds an MA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is an ABD Arts and Sciences Fellow at Emory University’s Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts, and Wesley Chenault, a certified archivist and head of special collections and archives at Virginia Commonwealth University’s James Branch Cabell Library who holds a PhD in American studies from the University of New Mexico and a MA in women’s studies from Georgia State University.

Born and raised in Detroit, Melissa Vandenberg is an artist, educator and curator living in eastern Kentucky. Her recent creative inquires investigate fear, impermanence and power with everyday materials like fabric, stickers, temporary tattoos and found objects.

Izel Vargas is a South Florida-based mixed media artist and educator who is from the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. He earned his BFA from the University of Texas Pan American and his MFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC.

Stacy Lynn Waddell creates works that appropriate the power invested in linguistics, historical record and cultural leitmotifs. She earned her MFA from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2007, and currently resides in Chapel Hill, NC. 

Martha Whittington’s constructed environments speak to the tenderness and innocence of the human spirit as it faces the harshness and treachery of life and labor.  She received her BFA in Sculpture from the Kansas City Art Institute and her MFA in Sculpture From Tyler School of Art, and currently is a professor at Savannah College of Art & Design in Georgia. 

About Elsewhere

Elsewhere is a living museum, open to the public Wed-Sat 1-10pm in the spring, summer and fall. It provides a unique cultural anchor for downtown Greensboro and a destination for local, statewide, and global visitors. The museum presents a changing, interactive environment of artworks, objects, and events. Inspiring new ways to look at and re-purpose recent cultural surplus, and activate contemporary memory, an experience at Elsewhere brings new concepts, perspectives, and life practices to visitors. Visit Elsewhere at 606 South Elm Street, Greensboro, NC 27406,

The Smith Gallery is located in the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts at 733 Rivers Street on the campus of Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. Admission is free for all events and programs. Hours are from 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday and during special events. For more information, please call 828-262-7338 or visit Like us on Facebook at



Published: Nov 3, 2014 8:10am