CCHD COVID-19 Vaccines Available Banner 01
Art in the Park 2022 Caldwell Journal Ad 05-20-2022 01

Caldwell County – Hunter-Gatherers on Smartphones art exhibition

LENOIR, NC (February 13, 2020) — The Caldwell Arts Council will present an opening reception for the art exhibit “Hunter-Gatherers on Smartphones” on Friday, March 6, 2020 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., hosted by the Patterson School Foundation.

The exhibition will continue through March 27, 2020.

Hunter-Gatherers on Smartphones is a mixed media exhibition featuring 2-dimensional, 3-dimensional, interactive, and installation works by Amber D. Watts of Morganton, NC and Joseph Bigley of Lenoir, NC. The theme of the show invites viewers to critically question aspects of the culture in which they live. The works are poetic and conceptual in their narratives, and depend on interpretations of visual information or clues, rather than formal beauty or design principles alone.

More about the exhibiting artists

Through creative activity and research, Amber D. Watts investigates elements of culture that are unnerving (or at least questionable) as she observes and participates in the activities of daily life. “I construct mixed media assemblage works in order to grapple with and critique parts of contemporary American culture. Some topics of interest are our Industrial Food System, “me” culture, addiction(s), and consumerism. This is with the understanding that I perceive the world through my own set of “cultural lenses”, just like everyone else does. My aim is to sift through clues which may lead me to a better understanding of how to live a meaningful life in a society of Just-Add-Water-Instant-Artificial Blueberry Mix. The work is a result of this sifting. It is a poetic expression of my questions and fears as it relates to my own life and those around me.”

Amber D. Watts

Amber is an award winning, North Carolina-based artist and instructor. She is the recipient of a 2019-2020 Regional Artist Project Grant, which has made recent creative work possible. Watts holds an MFA in Painting and Drawing from East Carolina University, where she focused on conceptual development and non-traditional approaches to art-making. Watts also studied painting and visual arts at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Caldwell Community College. She currently teaches courses in Drawing, Painting, and Art Appreciation at Caldwell Community College. Watts’ work can be seen at

A native of North Carolina, Joseph Bigley holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Alfred University in Sculptural Dimensional Studies and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Appalachian State University. His work has been exhibited across the United States and internationally including China, the Netherlands, Spain, Uruguay and Germany. A mixed media sculptor and educator, he worked as Assistant Professor of Art-Sculpture at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA for five years. He is currently a full-time lecturer of Art at Appalachian State University and is a founder and the executive director of the Western North Carolina Sculpture Center and Park in Lenoir, NC.

Joseph Bigley

Joe’s work is a form of social commentary. This research-based practice allows each project’s content to directly inform the chosen materials, methodologies and manners of display. As a result, he works with an expansive range of mediums including traditional sculptural materials, site specific installation, mixed media, digital video and performance works. Humor or absurdity is a common mechanism for an access to ideas that reflect the complexities and conflicts that are a part of the human condition. The work is presented in an intentionally neutral territory as to avoid a didactic or heavy-handed delivery. More of Joe’s works may be viewed at

About the Caldwell Arts Council
The Caldwell Arts Council presents the arts in all its forms to Caldwell County residents. Located at 601 College Avenue in Lenoir, the Caldwell Arts Council is open free to the public Tuesday-Friday 9am-5pm and Saturdays 10am-2pm. For information, call 828-754-2486 or visit