Kathleen Campbell is an artist, writer and professor of art at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. Her most recent exhibit, “Relics from the Garden,” can be found in the entrance of the Roy H. Park School of Communications.
Campbell’s art interests lie both in the visual arts and in art history and criticism. She has published reviews and articles on photography in a number of journals, and in 1998, she was awarded a Visual Artist’s Grant from the North Carolina Arts Council.
Contributing writer Tony Azzara spoke with Campbell about the exhibit and how it made its way to Ithaca College.
Tony Azzara: So how did your artwork find a home in the Park School?
Kathleen Campbell: I used to be on the national board of the society for photographic education. I know [Professor] Steven Skopik through this society, and we’ve known each other for a long time. He asked me if I would send him the work. He looked at it and decided it would be good for him to put it up in the gallery.
TA: Why did you title the exhibit “Relics from the Garden”?
KC: A lot of my work has a reference to the western spiritual tradition in art to make a contemporary point about nature. The relics have religious significance, and the garden relates to nature and references the Garden of Eden. We’re all little pieces of time, so in a sense we are the relics from the Garden of Eden.
TA : How did you make “Relics from the Garden”?
KC: I had all these old glass plate negatives from a previous student. Some of them had historical significance. I used those and collaged them because they’re like little pieces of time. I put them together with pieces of natural forms. It is to show that we are not really in control of nature.
TA: Is there a specific theme to your artwork?
KC: Most of my work has to do with the idea that as humans we believe that we are lords and masters over nature, and my work is about trying to disprove that. We feel like we can control nature, but we really can’t. We are a part of nature; if we hurt nature, we hurt ourselves. We are interconnected with nature.