North Carolina School of Science & Mathematics fine arts coordinator Scott Laird was excited one fall morning about the next evening’s opening reception for an art exhibition by the noted Durham artist Candy Carver. Carver’s brightly-colored and intricately patterned abstract paintings celebrating the African-American female form already lined the atrium gallery outside NCSSM’s auditorium. Laird was able to offer Carver a modest honorarium to mount the exhibition and to visit with student painters and visual artists (which the school’s high-aptitude science and mathematics scholars also tend to be).

“The student-teacher relationship — that element of familiarity — is important,” Laird said. “But it’s also bringing professionals in for that one-shot moment that provides the catalyst of inspiration.”

He recalled a previous visit by illustrator Nick Meglin, a former editor of Mad magazine: “He and a student just spontaneously sat down on the floor of the gallery — Nick was in his 70s at the time — and he was giving the kid a drawing lesson.”

Read More


Originally published Oct. 10, 2018.