Each year Sayre’s Diversity and Multicultural Team sponsors “Visiting Voices,” a program that brings a variety of the region’s best minds to campus including authors, artists, scientists, athletes, and other professionals for extended interaction with students in small groups.
Fall 2015 Visiting Voices Guest: Dongfeng Li
Dongfeng Li is an associate professor teaching drawing, painting and watercolor at Morehead State University in Morehead, KY. His past teaching experiences include teaching courses at Webster University, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and lecturing on Ming Dynasty art, history and culture at the St. Louis Art Museum.
He received two graduate degrees, a Master of Art Education and a Master of Fine Art. In addition to a career dedicated to instructing and inspiring future artists, he has participated in countless regional, national and international exhibitions, including solo, two-person, and juried competitions, as well as group exhibitions to hone his craft. To this date, he has accumulated numerous awards in the process.
His most prized accomplishment is becoming a member of the esteemed American Watercolor Society by winning the IDE Memorial Award and the Mario Cooper & Dale Meyers Medal at two American Watercolor Society International Annual Exhibitions (2008 and 2014 respectively). With over 1,600 submissions annually, earning the distinction of becoming a Signature Member of the American Watercolor Society by earning awards at two separate exhibitions has truly been a longtime dream, making him one of only a handful of current AWS Signature Members in the state of Kentucky.
He is also extremely proud of his three first-place awards at the Alaska, Illinois and Kentucky Watercolor Society National Annual Exhibitions. In addition, he has twice been awarded competitive research grants from Morehead State University and the projects’ associated exhibitions have been featured in both national magazines such as the Watercolor Artists magazine and local media outlets such as the Louisville Courier-Journal and Lexington, Kentucky’s CBS affiliate station WKYT. Currently, he has artworks displayed at various public and private galleries including a permanent collection of artwork at the Mobile Museum of Art in Mobile, AL.
Spring 2015 Visiting Voices Resident: Bianca Spriggs
Local poet Bianca Spriggs, well known for her work on the Lexington tattoo project and as a multidisciplinary artist in town, is this year’s “Visiting Voices” Artist at Sayre School. Bianca Spriggs is an Affrilachian Poet and Cave Canem Fellow based in Lexington. Ms. Spriggs is the recipient of an Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship in Poetry, multiple Artist Enrichment grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and a Pushcart Prize Nominee. She currently serves as Assistant Poetry Editor for Apex Magazine, a monthly speculative literature publication, and the Managing Editor for pluck! The Journal of Affrilachian Art & Culture.
During the month of March, Ms. Spriggs worked with Sayre students across the Lower, Middle and Upper Schools. In small-group settings, Ms. Spriggs lead students through a series of craft-talks and generative writing workshops to create empathetic poems reflecting a personal cause and their subjective stance on the cause. The event ended with an all-school poetry reading on March 26, 2015.