Art Instructor Tom Grubb Featured in New Bern Exhibit

Creativity is important across numerous fields, from designing parts to machines to providing care. To highlight art in unexpected fields, the Craven Arts Council & Gallery will present “Creative Workforce” in the Main Gallery at Bank of the Arts starting August 7. This exhibition will feature the work of art professors from community colleges in the area and their contributions to the region both artistically and holistically. Beaufort County Community College is proud to have art instructor Tom Grubb represent the college. Craven Arts will host an opening reception August 10 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., during the downtown New Bern Artwalk.

“Community colleges serve as the backbone of the higher education system, providing affordable, local access to classes that enhance their ability to excel in their chosen fields,” wrote Jonathan Burger, marketing and gallery director for Craven Arts Council and Gallery, Inc. “Unfortunately, art is often overlooked by many in and outside these institutions, due to the lack of defined career path or perceptions about the value of art.”

The “Creative Workforce” exhibit will show the work of instructors at these institutions. Professors from seven local community colleges will display work ranging from painting, pottery, sculpture, video and mixed media. Artists will include Elizabeth Spencer and Hunter Stephenson of Craven Community College, Tom Grubb of Beaufort Community College, Lisa Shaw of Lenoir Community college, Nora Hartlaub of College of the Albemarle, and professors from Pitt and Cape Fear Community Colleges. Information about art programs in local community colleges will also be on display.

Grubb’s piece, “Encaustic Star Chart Constructions”, draws attention to the issues of climate change and to the exploration of space.

“Working as a sea captain on commercial fishing boats in the North Atlantic Ocean inspired me to create star charts which explore the dimensions of time and space,” said Grubb about his piece that is at once warm and brooding. “As I would navigate in the open ocean I would study topographical maps of the ocean floor. Visualizing the depth of the ocean and converting this data in my mind to a three-dimensional model gave me the inspiration to carry the concept skyward and create my celestial star charts which are abstract maps of the heavens.”

He used bamboo, string, wax and ink on parchment paper. Greek shipbuilders first used wax to seal joints and waterproof ships, though later combined it with ink to decorate warships.

Grub hopes we sail to more noble destinations. “Instead of focusing on the navigation of ships on the sea, I seek through these works to focus man’s attention toward the wise use of our natural resourcesand the exploration of the heavens. It is human nature to explore and to seek the unknown.”

Grubb’s work will be on display August 7 through August 30 at the Main Gallery.