A chef, an opera star, an architect, and an artist are among the notable names who visited Meredith during the spring 2014 semester.
Vivian Howard, owner of Chef & the Farmer restaurant in Kinston, N.C., shared her passion for farm-to-fork dining with a Meredith College audience on February 4. Howard is the star of the Peabody award-winning PBS documentary series A Chef’s Life, which presents cooking and the food industry in a realistic way. “We produced an authentic story about living, working, and cooking in eastern North Carolina,” said Howard, who was invited to campus by the Meredith Master of Science in Nutrition and the Environmental Sustainability Initiative.
Students in Meredith’s music program worked with artist-in-residence Claudia Waite when the New York Metropolitan Opera soprano came to campus to star in a production of Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring. “In addition to singing the part of Lady Billows, she stage directed and offered help in characterization,” said Professor of Music Ellen Williams. “Opera is one of the most complex art forms, so she assisted them with learning how to inhabit their characters and to relate to other performers on stage.” Billows presented a master class, attended student lessons, and participated in the department’s recruiting and community outreach events during her month-long residency.
Architect Sarah Susanka, author of The Not So Big House, brought her sustainability message to campus on February 27. A best-selling author, Susanka talked about her design philosophy and her life as an architect and author, advising the audience to find their passion and focus on that. “Life is the experiencing of the experience,” Susanka said. “We can’t notice what we are experiencing until we learn to slow down.” Her lecture was sponsored by the Meredith College Interior Design program, with the support of Kenan Funds.
Internationally-respected ceramic artist Peter Callas presented a lecture and demonstration of his work on April 7, at the invitation of Associate Professor of Art Warner Hyde. Callas spent many years in Japan working with multiple masters and Japan’s National Living Treasures. He also had a 30-year collaboration with Peter Voulkos, the most recognized ceramic artist of the 20th century. “Peter is an engaging and exciting artist,” said Hyde. “This is a one of a kind opportunity for our campus.”
This article originally appeared in the Summer 2014 issue of Meredith Magazine.