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Word Into Art

Word into Art was an exhibit of calligraphy especially created for the Aesthetics of Nirvana series. The exhibit included work by American, Chinese, Japanese and Korean artists, whose art is based in the ancient tradition of calligraphy. This exhibit opening was also enhanced by the presence of three of the four artists who told viewers about their art.

Two accomplished calligraphers gave students hands-on experience with calligraphy, and we provided the brushes, ink and paper for all to use. Ms. Chikako Thomsen, an accomplished Japanese calligrapher from Chicago, led one workshop, and Dr. Wendan Li, UNC-Chapel Hill Assistant Professor of Chinese Language and Linguistics, led the workshop in Chinese calligraphy.

Two artists, Ms. Mary Jo Maraldo and Mr. Cong Yuan, whose work was included in the “Word into Art” exhibit gave a noon lecture and slide show about their notions of how the calligraphic arts can be suited to the modern digital age.

A lecture by University of Chicago art historian Hans Thomsen entitled, “Birds of a Feather: Sesshu and the Bird and Flower Screens,” took place in the Ackland galleries, alongside the Ackland’s new acquisitions, and coinciding with the Ackland’s exhibit “Plum, Pine, and Bamboo: Seasonal and Spiritual Paths in Japanese Art.” This event was followed by a dinner reception generously provided by the Ackland Art Museum.


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