Sail! into CJS Gallery

Article Published: Sep. 1, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 6, 2011
Sail! into CJS Gallery

Catherine J. Smith Gallery at Appalachian State University presents "Sail!" by multimedia artist Jewel Castro.

The exhibited work draws on the main themes in Castro's artistic practice - Samoan history and identity, Samoan women's art production and Castro's relationships with her ancestors - while also highlighting her technical expertise. The exhibition is on view from Sept. 15 through Nov. 17 and opens with a reception on Wednesday, Sept. 14, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

These and other corresponding events are free and open to the public.

"Sail!" is curated by Heather Waldroup, associate professor of art history at Appalachian State University.

Waldroup has also organized a companion exhibit of books on Pacific art and Pacific studies from the Belk Library collection that will be on view at the library throughout the duration of Castro's exhibition.

Although Castro works in a variety of media, the pieces selected for the show are two-dimensional paintings and drawings. These include works on mulberry paper, selected for its resemblance to siapo, a form of barkcloth made by Samoan women. For Castro, materials are ways to honor her heritage as much as they are surfaces on which to create her work.

"Castro's exhibition makes a significant contribution to this area by bringing the work of an oceanic artist to our community for the first time," Waldroup said. "Through her work, visitors will gain valuable insight into Samoan history and culture, as visualized by a contemporary Pacific artist."

In addition, Castro will be meeting with a number of ASU students in studio art, art history, public history and general education throughout her time on campus.


All programs are free and open to the public, and take place on the campus of Appalachian State University.

Sept. 7
Visiting Artist Talk by Jewel Castro.
Belk Library Room 114, 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 8
The Street Where We Live
Artmaking with Jewel Castro.
Plemmons Student Union Solarium, 4 to 6 p.m.

Sept. 14
Opening reception for Sail!
Catherine Smith Gallery, 5:30 to 7 p.m.


Jewel Castro was born in Chicago and grew up in San Diego. Her maternal grandparents established the First Samoan Congregational Christian Church of San Diego, and the family's activities revolved around their house on the church grounds and extended family events.

Castro's early career in art was in graphic design and illustration and culminated in a position in television programming administration for public broadcasting. Castro received a B.A. in art with an emphasis in painting and drawing from San Diego State University in 1995 and an MFA in visual arts with a studio emphasis in 1998.

Since then, Castro has been working as a multimedia artist, curator, part-time teacher of studio art, writer and public speaker.

Castro is interested in bringing national attention to contemporary oceanic art, having already curated two exhibitions that have received international exposure, including "Island Affinities, Contemporary Art of Oceania" at California State University Northridge (2007) with Peri Klemm and "Turning Tides: Gender in Oceania Art" at the University of California San Diego (2006) with Pamela Rosi.

Her work is published in several journals, including Pacific Studies, The Contemporary Pacific and Pacific Arts: The Journal of the Pacific Art Association, as well as a few books, including "Samoan Art and Artists: O Measina a Samoa", edited by Sean Mallon, "Moon Over the Pacific" by Kay Flavell, and "Pacific Island Artists Navigating the Global Art World," edited by Karen Stevenson.

Exhibitions and programs take place in the Catherine J. Smith Gallery on the Appalachian State University campus unless otherwise noted.

The gallery is located in Farthing Auditorium at 733 Rivers St. in Boone. Hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free for all events. For information, call (828) 262-7338 or visit

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