Charles Wissinger, an art professor at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, pointed out the Mesoamerican symbolism found in his drawings. “I am intrigued by North American cultures interaction with nature and our simplistic understanding of what it is to be human,” he said.
He is a graduate of Ohio State University, Columbus with a masters degree of fine arts in ceramics with a minor in sculpture and photography-cinematography. He earned a bachelor of science degree in art education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
His work has been exhibited across the country and in Canada, Mexico and Turkey, and he has been a part of international shows in Scandinavia, including the 1994 International Olympics Ceramics Exhibition in Lillehammer, Norway.
Fulden Sara-Wissinger is an adjunct professor at TAMUK. She also teaches at Coastal Bend College-Kingsville Campus. She earned an MFA in 3D studio art from the University of Texas Pan-American in Edinburg and a bachelors degree in graphic design from Marmara University in Istanbul.
“Some of my most vivid memories are of emerging from my sheltered home to walk hand-in-hand with my parents through Istanbul’s world-famous bazaars. I became swept up in the sensual soup of sights, smells and sounds – a magical world far removed from my seven-story perch. It has taken quite some time and living half a world away for me to realize just how profoundly this dichotomy has shaped me,” she said.
Sara-Wissinger worked as a graphic designer in Turkey before becoming a studio artist. “Quite by accident... I found myself gravitating to clay,” she explained. “For me, clay most directly captures fluid energy while requiring patient methodical manipulation. Strong texture against clean edges creates a sense of tension.”
She said her heritage is “European mixed with Byzantine and Seljuk-Ottoman Culture.” Her experiences have heavily influenced her work. “As a person of mixed culture, I am fascinated by other cultures. Living in one of the world’s most exotic cultural crossroads created in me a delight for such diversity and a hunger to venture into the world to experience ever more,” she said.
The Simon Michael Art Gallery is located in the Frank Jostes Visual Arts Building at Coastal Bend College in Beeville. For more information on upcoming shows and CBC’s visual arts programs, go to www.coastalbend.edu/finearts.