VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University’s Dr. Selena Nawrocki is one of five artists invited to participate in the 2019 Winners Circle at the 311 Gallery in Raleigh, N.C. 

The show opens on Thursday, Jan. 31, with a reception scheduled for Friday, Feb. 1, and runs through Saturday, Feb. 23.

Winners Circle is an exhibition of works by each of the first-place winners from the 311 Gallery’s five 2018 national juried art exhibitions, according to university officials. 

Nawrocki secured a spot after her “New Metropolis Square” won first place at Abstracts Matter, the art gallery’s March 2018 show.

The 311 Gallery is located in the heart of Downtown Raleigh’s Warehouse District, which USA Today named one of 10 best art districts in 2014. With 4,300 square feet of space, it is one of the largest art galleries in the South, university officials said.

"I am thrilled to be part of an art exhibition that recognizes the achievement of my work displayed beside other award-winning artists," the interior design professor said.

When asked if “New Metropolis Square” was the result of a professional interior design assignment, Nawrocki said, “No. I utilize interior design imagery in the creation of fine art, mixed media work.

“I have a strong studio art background working in all fine art media — in addition to interior design. My work bridges the gap between fine art and interior design, thus I am able to compete with studio artists throughout the United States.”

Nawrocki briefly studied the oboe at the University of Alabama before transferring to Mississippi University for Women and earning a bachelor of fine arts in interior design in 1993. She earned a master of fine arts in interior design from the University of Memphis in 1995, followed by a doctor of philosophy in technology / education, minor in art, from Mississippi State University in 2001, university officials said. 

She is a registered interior designer in the state of Georgia and is certified by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification. She is a member of the Interior Design Educators Council Inc. and American Society of Interior Designers. 

Nawrocki joined VSU’s Department of Art and Design faculty in fall 2001 and has served as the university’s interior design program coordinator since 2002. 

She earned the College of the Arts Excellence in Teaching Award for the 2004-05 academic year and the university-wide Excellence in Teaching Award in 2005. She has received a total of three faculty research grants to continue developing artwork exploring digital imagery framed with zinc and plexiglass in a complex shaped format, university officials said.

Since arriving at VSU, Nawrocki’s mixed-media art compositions have been accepted to more than 100 international, national, regional and state art competitions throughout the United States, winning 35 awards, including honorable mention at the 2018 Abstract National Exhibition at the Mark Arts Mary R. Koch Arts Center in Wichita, Kans. Her work was also published in the fall 2013 issue of Still Point Arts Quarterly.

Within the last 12 months, Nawrocki’s work has been featured in the 39th Annual "Paper in Particular," a juried exhibition at Columbia College’s Sidney Larson Gallery in Columbia, Mo., and the 15th Annual Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community Juried Art Exhibition at the Park Gables Gallery in Harrisonburg, Va.

“My works of mixed-media images represent compositions utilizing the common thread of interior design,” she said in an artist’s statement. “Traditional boundaries of applied arts have been shattered, with my axonometric drawings and computer renderings yielding a bas-relief sculptural quality associated with the fine arts media. An abstract room interior, rendered in informal balance, is created with line, plane, plus tints and shades of color. The effect I am seeking is a mechanized, industrial structure designed to simulate architectural construction elements. The honesty of materials is my principal focus in developing a machine-age quality enhanced with shadows and light.” 

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