School of Art and Design Alumni Exhibition 2021

Back to Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery, Joyner Library

Back to Alumni Exhibit main page

Wellington B. Gray Gallery Exhibition

Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge


Pamela Toll
Graduated 2004

My creative practice and visual language derive from a childhood steeped in family story telling. In these oral narratives, the men discussed the outside world – sometimes dark but often full of humor. The women delivered their stories while snapping beans, shucking corn or washing dishes. They covered birth and dying, and everything in between.

These family narratives and experiences defined my childhood and are the genesis of this body of work. I set out to make a memoir, but soon the paintings develop story lines of their own. Using as source material family and my own childhood photographs (I received my first camera when I was 12), I constantly move among memory, myth, and the present, between the spoken and the unsaid, and between the conscious and the unconscious. Both photographic and mental fragments seem to swim in chaos, and characters come and go. At some juncture, the painting begins to lead the narrative, with intuition and intention resolving the various impulses. All that I am and know merge in the paintings, and I become the storyteller.

I am an Associate Professor at UNC Wilmington, received a BA in Art and English Literature from UNC Chapel Hill and earned an MFA in Painting and Drawing at ECU in 2004. My studio is currently located at Acme Art Studios (Wilmington) which I co-founded in 1991, as a work and exhibition space for artists. I also co-founded No Boundaries International Art Colony (Bald Head Island, NC) in 1998, a residency program that in twenty two years brought over 200 artists from around the world with the goal of creating a cross-exchange of cultures and artistic practices.

Solo exhibitions include Landscape and Memory, a twenty year survey of drawings at Wilma Daniels Gallery in Wilmington, NC (2019), Dream Time, a solo exhibition, at the Palacio Albaicin in Noja, Spain (2010) and Excavation at the Cultural Arts Gallery, UNCW (2011), six weeks of live drawing inspired by art residencies in Macedonia.

Recent group exhibitions include Pepper, an international group show at Gallery MC in New York, New York (2019), Bljarica Art, Markok Gallery in Memorial House, Crvena Komuna, Petrovac, Montenegro (2018), the 20th Anniversary Exhibitions for No Boundaries at Wilma Daniels Gallery and Acme Art Studios in Wilmington, NC (2017) The 30th Anniversary Exhibition of the International Art Colony St Joakim Osogovski, Macedonia (2016); She Tells a Story, Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, NC (2016); I am Woman, Cassoria Contemporary Art Museum, Naples, Italy (2015); and Asolare Foundation Residency Exhibition, Lexington, NC (2015).

The Three Graces, oil on canvas, 42.50″ x 53.50″ x 1.75″ $9000.00