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Artwork of 3 VGCC Instructors Selected For Display in Raleigh

Portraiture, ceramics and chair caning. All those arts and crafts will represent Vance-Granville Community College throughout 1999 in the offices of the North Carolina Community College System in Raleigh.

The system has chosen works of three VGCC part-time instructors to brighten the halls and offices of the system in the Caswell Building, along with work of other community college instructors and students from across the state.

“Portrait of Tommy” by Theresa Brown of Granville County, an antique rocking chair that Frieda Haun of Kittrell restored with star webbing caning in the back and seat, and ceramic busts of an African king and queen by Jacki Wilson of Franklin County will be on display in the Caswell Building until the end of 1999.

Frieda Haun (shown at left) has been teaching continuing education classes for the school 29 years, beginning about a year after it began as Vance Technical Institute. At one time she taught quilting, caning and basketry, but in recent years has concentrated on caning and basketry in the basement of her home in Kittrell.

Haun obtained the Lincoln rocker about 20 years ago and said, “It had been well-used and the back and seat were worn out.” She refinished the birdseye maple frame, then bored 190 holes in the back and seat and wove the cane to form the star webbing design for the seat and back.

Haun currently has one morning and one evening class in which her students replace seats and backs in furniture with rush, twine and different sizes of cane. They also weave baskets of a variety of sizes and shapes from cane.

After all these years teaching her classes, Haun says, “I learn as much from the students as they do from me.”

Theresa Brown (shown at right) and her husband, Steve, operate an art studio they built at their home in southern Granville County, near the Franklin County line. “We’re fortunate to walk right out of our house, and there’s our business,” she said. “Our studio is a very special place.”

The portrait chosen for display in Raleigh is of her son, Tommy, one of their four children. Theresa, who studied commercial art at East Carolina University, specializes in pastels and oils, and most of Steve’s work is in watercolors and oils. They’ve done book illustrations and sculpture, but, “The majority of our work is portraits,” she said.

“Painting portraits of people and animals, as well as landscapes Steve does, is our business, but I find teaching is fun,” said Theresa Brown, who has taught continuing education classes for VGCC at its South Campus near Creedmoor.

Jacki Wilson (shown at left) is a retired education specialist with IBM, who also taught in the public schools in Philadelphia and Franklin County and at Bennett College in Greensboro. Now she teaches basic education two days a week in the literacy program at VGCC’s Franklin County Campus.

But Wilson is a multi-talented woman. She is working on a novel and won a month’s residency scholarship last year to study and write at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vt. She has also acted on television and the stage, has written plays, paints and has done ceramics 30 years.

Wilson began studying her African roots and traced her great-great grandmother to Liberia. The two busts chosen for display at the community college offices are of Akila and Adiyemi, an African king and queen. “I saw the molds for them, and I had to do them,” she said. “They represent my heritage.”

The community college system moved into the Caswell Building in 1997 and decided to use the talents of community college people to decorate its halls and offices. A quilted wall hanging by VGCC quilting instructor Peggy Stocks hung in the building during 1998.