- Biology is his second class of the day, but it’s still too early for 10th-grade ballet student Matthew Murphy of Missoula, Mont., who stifles a yawn as General Studies faculty member Linda Moore assists 10th-grader Katie Walker of Elon College, N.C.
- Violin student Michelle Story, a college freshman from Knoxville, Tenn., concentrates as she rehearses for an upcoming concert.
- Ninth-grade ballet students Bayleigh Miller, left, of Clemmons, N.C., and Leah O’Connor of Advance, N.C., enjoy a prime vantage point as they observe a rehearsal.
- Matthew Goldberg, a college sophomore from Solon, Ohio, prepares for a hands-on camera test in the School of Filmmaking.
During 2001-02, the North Carolina School of the Arts commissioned local photographer Christine Rucker – a former photojournalist with the Winston-Salem Journal – to document what really goes on in studios, classrooms and backstage – as well as in the residence halls and library. The objective was to create a visual record of a “day in the life” of NCSA that could be exhibited across the state – in museums, public buildings, and at NCSA touring events.
With the assistance of the public relations office, Rucker gained access to classes and other School events and shot for several months, on-and-off. She used a 35mm Nikon F-100 camera for the project, and Kodak T-400 CN (black-and-white) film. “I specialize in black-and-white,” she explained, “and for documentary projects, I think it shows the person’s character a lot better than color.”
All total, Rucker took 50 rolls of 36 exposures each, which she transferred to contact sheets. Those 1,800 images were narrowed down to about 200, which Rucker digitally scanned. After further consideration, about 50 were chosen. Rucker printed those, and the final cut was made, to 29.
In 2003, the collection won the Grand Award in the Photo Essay and Series category of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District III Awards Competition. The district includes nine Southeastern states, including the Carolinas.
Thus far, the collection has been exhibited at the Bank of America Corporate Center in Charlotte (October 2002), the Greenville (N.C.) Museum of Art (February 2003), The Arts Center of Henderson County (July 2003), and the Art Gallery at Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo, N.C. (July 2004). The collection made its Winston-Salem premiere at the Winston-Salem Visitor Center in May and June, 2003.
In addition to the touring exhibit, the School has also been able to use the photographs in many other ways, including this website, advertising and banners.
This exhibition is made possible through the support of the Duke-Semans Fine Arts Foundation.
If you are interested in securing this extraordinary exhibit for your facility, please contact the Public Relations Department at the North Carolina School of the Arts at 336-770-3374.