David Blalock, BM ’09, recently made his solo debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Pong in Puccini’s Turandot. He previously appeared at The Met as a member of the chorus in a 2013 production of Wagner’s Parsifal.
In addition to his appearances at The Metropolitan Opera, David will also sing the title role in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld with Madison Opera and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Pensacola Opera. Previous appearances include Opera Hong Kong, Virginia Opera, Minnesota Opera, Atlanta Opera, Washington National Opera, and Santa Fe Opera.
Stephanie J. Woods is a Charlotte, NC based artist creating textile, photography, and community-engaged projects. Through the use of symbolic mediums referencing black American culture and the southern experience, her multimedia works examine the cognitive effects of cultural assimilation, and how performance is ingrained in identity. Woods earned an MFA in Studio Art from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and has attended several residences; including a seven-month visual artist fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center, ACRE Residency, the McColl Center for Art + Innovation, Oxbow School of Art and Artists’ Residency and Penland School of Crafts. She has served as faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University, and in 2017 her work was notably recognized by the South Arts Fellowship, and NC. Arts Council Fellowship.
Gina Gibson, 2006 MFA, is a multimedia artist and professor of digital communication at Black Hills State University. In the Summer of 2019, she was named as Sanford Underground Research Facility’s first Artist-in-Residence. Gibson first visited Sanford Lab in 2013 for the “Into the Dark: Artists Exploring Dark Matter” art exhibit, which challenged 22 prominent South Dakota artists to imagine one of nature’s most profound mysteries: dark matter. After that experience, Gibson began searching for residency opportunities at labs like Fermilab and CERN, before realizing an opportunity might exist in the Black Hills. She worked with Sanford Lab to develop and pilot the AiR program.
Sanford Lab’s undertakings often focus on science, technology, engineering and math; this project is just one of the ways the facility works to incorporate art, generating STEAM. Gibson says this project is one way of moving toward more interdisciplinary action, away from the academic silos that can stifle collaboration.
“Getting everyone into the same sandbox is beneficial, and I’d like to see education move that way more,” said Gibson. “That’s why I like interdisciplinary projects, so it’s really natural for me to view this as a mission, to make people more aware of both art and science.”