School of Art and Design Alumni Exhibition 2021

Wellington B. Gray Gallery

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Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge

Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery


Joy Parks Coats
Graduated 1979

Joy grew up in Raleigh, NC. She attended ECU School of Art in Greenville, NC, as a painting major with a drawing minor. Joy’s earlier paintings were often monochromatic and very detailed. Her work has now evolved to include much less detail with added impressionistic and/or expressionistic qualities using bold, bright colors; she prefers acrylic paint and mixed media. She is most drawn to the Impressionist painters, particularly Monet. She believes that the beauty of nature cannot be exceeded, so she rarely looks for inspiration elsewhere.

Joy married in 2013 and moved to the coast of NC. The beautiful coast as well as Caribbean and other travels offer endless inspiration for her paintings. Her works have been shown in various galleries in NC, as well as in online national/international juried exhibitions. She is an award-winning artist whose art has been purchased for private collections in various states across the US, as well as internationally. She is currently represented by Water + Color Gallery (Wilmington, NC), and other online galleries.

One particular memory of my time as an art student at ECU involves freshman year 1975. The assignment was to mat one of our pieces (we had to cut our own mats). I bought a large mat board at the student supply store. I lived in Greene Dorm at the far end of campus; so here I was – struggling to carry my books and the mat board when the wind started blowing and then it started to rain! I turned the mat board upside down and held it over my head when a gust of wind almost carried me away! I took shelter in the art building (Jenkins) until the weather calmed down; then made it to my dorm. I’m sure anyone watching would have thought it was humorous but I was close to tears. I did manage to “save” the good side of the mat board – at least enough of it to finish my assignment.

A slightly better memory is from a drawing class with Ray Elmore (my favorite professor because I loved his work). Our first assignment was to take a photograph torn from magazines from his collection, draw it and turn it into “something else.” I spent 21 hours drawing a planet from a photo of a cabbage! During the crit, he told us these drawings were not going to be graded – he just wanted to learn out skill level – if I had known there would be no grade, I would not have spent so much time on this drawing, but he was impressed with it (and I wanted to impress him). I still have that drawing matted and framed and hanging in my house.

Patterns of Reflections, Acrylic, 30″ x 40″, 2018