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Morton Collection Committee Adds Artwork by Kiki Farish
Morton Collection Committee Adds Artwork by Kiki Farish

A new piece of art has been added to Ravenscroft's Hugh Morton Jr. Collection. The work was created by acclaimed local artist Kiki Farish during her work with Upper School visual arts students earlier this year, when she was on campus as part of Ravenscroft's Visiting Artist Portfolio Series.

Farish is known for her emotive pencil paintings, often of flowers and other organics. At Ravenscroft, she worked with Joyce Fillip's Art II and III students, collaborating with them on this piece as well as guiding them in creating their own. Students' drawings were exhibited alongside Farish's work in the Fine Arts Gallery during February.

According to Fillip, Farish's piece was inspired by Lead From Here.

"The idea of our leadership program, and the students' right to choose how to conduct themselves in life, became the focus of her drawing," she said. "The piece uses the words 'code of conduct,' 'figure & ground shifting,' and also 'changing.' Kiki also uses plant forms that have symbolic meaning, and for this drawing she chose the Silver Brunia, a symbol for chivalry. It is left for us to interpret and find the meaning in her drawing.

"Our students were guided by her instructions and drew images of plants and used text that they felt was significant to their drawing and its meaning," she added.

In keeping with longstanding practice, the decision to purchase the piece for the Morton Collection was made by a committee comprising 12 students and four faculty. Fillip said the committee was "impressed by Kiki's work and her thoughtful exploration of the use of words and text to inform ideas within her art."

A graduate of Meredith College, Farish earned a Master of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing from East Carolina University. She has been recognized with several arts residencies and in 2014-15 received the North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship. Her work has been exhibited at the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem and GreenHill in Greensboro and is represented in the permanent collection of the Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill, among others.

The Visiting Artist Portfolio Series, sponsored by the Victor E. Bell III '74 Endowment Fund, brings artists and educators to Ravenscroft each year. Learn more on our website.