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WINSTON-SALEM – Dean Joseph P. Tilford of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) School of Design and Production has announced that Will Taylor has been named the new director of the school’s Visual Arts Program.


The Visual Arts Program is a high school component of the School of Design and Production. It is for 11th- and 12th-graders.


Since 2005, Taylor has served on the faculty of the School of Design of Production/Visual Arts Program, where he teaches Drawing and is Director of the UNCSA Visual Arts Summer Session. 


“Will Taylor is a first-rate artist and teacher,” said Dean Tilford. “I am thrilled that he has agreed to become the director of the Visual Arts Program. The program is in very good hands.”


Former VA Program Director Greg Shelnutt stepped down at the end of the past school year to take a position as chair of the Department of Art at Clemson University in South Carolina. Shelnutt had served on the Visual Arts faculty at UNCSA since 2000.


Will Taylor earned a B.F.A. (Painting) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.F.A. (Painting) from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y.  His drawings and films have been included in the Drawing Center's Viewing Program (New York City), Artists Space's digital slide registry (New York City), and Pierogi 2000's Video File (Brooklyn, N.Y.).  With the support of the Combustive Motor Corporation (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Taylor founded the "Charred and Lacquered" film series in 2001. This series later evolved into the "Charred and Lacquered Revival" which exists today as a multidisciplinary art collective interested in promoting innovative and challenging works of art through the adaptive reuse of alternative spaces and interdisciplinary collaborations. “Revival” projects have included "deconcealed" (a collaborative installation in a former textile mill in Mebane, N.C.), "Elysiana" (a collaborative film created in part for the 48-Hour Film Project), and "Caravan" (a collaborative film and projection piece shot throughout Raleigh, N.C.; Richmond, Va.; Baltimore, Md.; Philadelphia, Pa.; and Brooklyn, N.Y.).


Taylor's paintings and drawings have been the subject of public symposia for such critics and curators as Donald Kuspit, Dan Cameron (New Museum of Contemporary Art), Laura Hoptman (Museum of Modern Art), Eugenie Tsai (Whitney Museum of American Art), and Dominic Molon (associate curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago).  In addition, Taylor has paneled discussions for the Cultural Studies Association, the College Art Association, and the American Society of Media Photographers.  In 2008, the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts selected Taylor and Julian Semilian (UNCSA School of Filmmaking) to participate in a collaborative initiative entitled "BREATHE - The Creative Challenge Project."  For this project, Taylor and Semilian traveled to London and Prague to engage in an artistic dialogue with three of the most influential stop motion animators/filmmakers of our time, Jan Svankmajer and the Brothers Quay (Stephen and Timothy Quay). Taylor is a member of the Southern Graphics Council.


The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is the first state-supported, residential school of its kind in the nation. Established as the North Carolina School of the Arts by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, UNCSA opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. More than 1,100 students from high school through graduate school train for careers in the arts in five professional schools: Dance, Design and Production (including a Visual Arts Program), Drama, Filmmaking, and Music. UNCSA is the state’s only public arts conservatory, dedicated entirely to the professional training of talented students in the performing, visual and moving image arts. UNCSA is located at 1533 S. Main St., Winston-Salem. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.