Meredith College Student Newspaper /
Nov. 30, 1994, edition 1 /
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Mixed media artist promotes the Communication Generation
by Ashley Peay
A young, energetic college student
entered the Gaddy-Hamrick Art build
ing on Sun., Nov. 13 around 9 p m. and
made her way to the stairwell.
She began unloading newspapers,
photographs, campaign signs, bumper
stickers, television monitors, radios,
answering machines and telephones.
The next morning around 10 a.m.,
as art students climbed the stairs on
their way to class, the student was still
hard at work, and during the night, a
major transformation in the stairwell’s
appearance began to take place. For
four or five more nights, the student
continued to work diligently until
dawn, and her project was finally com
From the description, one may
think that Michelle Matheny, a 26 year-
old re-entry student at Meredith was
busy campaigning for the Democratic
party when, in actuality, she is busy
with her final project, an installation in
ating in De
lation is “a
work of art
which is of
ten an assem
blage or en
created for a
space,” explained Matheny in a tele
phone interview last week. “Installa
tions became popular in the 1970’s
and 80’s and a lot of times are partici
patory free art such as asking observ
ers to eat candy and throw the wrap
pers on the floor,” said Matheny.
Matheny spent time observing other
installations before she asked herself.
photo by Jan Seate and Laura Ross
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“O.K. What do I have that can go into
is a com-
m o n
present throughout her collection and
she said this is when she came up with
the idea for “The Communication Gen
Approximately 200 telephones and
answering machines were stacked to
gether and painted in primary colors
to produce the entranceway for “The
Matheny explained, “I am really
interested in communicating with
people and feel like communication is
something that holds people together. ”
“I like every art that 1 do from
pottery to painting to photography,"
stated Matheny, “That’s what was so
neat about the stairwell. 1 got to use it
all, and I plan to reuse what 1 pull up
to create more art.”
As the stairs ascend, the photo
graphs on the wall capture different
moods and emotions, and Matheny
carried these emotions one step fur-
are given while at the academy to
determine an applicant’s acceptance
into the line of work. Women are re
quired to do the same type of excercises
as men, only fewer are required to earn
points. Physical fitness excercises given
include pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, 120-
yard shuttle run, and the two-mile run.
Flemming described jobs with FBI
as challenging and exciting and said
that working for the FBI “is a great job
for people who have a little adventure
in them and don’t mind moving to
ther by using music to set a mood.
The radio which was in the landing
was there for people to “change the
station if they didn’t like what they
were hearing, allowing the audience
to set their own mood for the art
work,” said Matheny.
Television monitors and photo al
bums were also stacked in the landing
below Matheny’s sculpture of a woman
with 12 arms which was made out of
aluminum foil. The sculpture repre
sented women in motion, and Matheny
stated, “I feel like women have to have
that many arms.” The sculpture was
also adorned with Christmas lights that
worked to the music.
Matheny lives in an old renovated
horse barn in Zebulon and says, “I
can’t throw anything away. I have so
many unfinished projects.”
Upon graduating Matheny will re
ceive a B.A. degree in art with a con
centration in photography and mixed
media. She plans to open her own
business in Zebulon which will be
called “Infinity Arts. ” She plans to free
lance as an artist and photographer
selling her art work and continue to
wait tables at Lone Star Restaurant.
“I have too much living to do to get
a real job right out of college, so I plan
to work for myself for a while, ” Matheny
Asked how Matheny would sum
her personality up into one word, she
first replied “crazy.” She then laughed
and said, “No, creative, but I don’t
want to sound too vain.”
Currently Flemming is investigat
ing an insurance fraud and a bank fraud
in two different cities.
Flemming commented that the
popular movie Silence of the Lambs
portrays the FBI as it really is.
The average starting salary is
$34,000, accoridng to Flemming.
She said that more information on
jobs with the FBI could be obtained by
contacting A1 Koehler, who covers FBI
recruitting for the Raleigh area.
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