Gardner-Webb University Political Science Professor Debuts Artwork in Tucker Gallery

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New Exhibit Features Photography and Paintings of Dr. Michael Kuchinsky 

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb University is known for carefully selecting faculty members who are both experts in their field of study and who display highly developed skills sets. Dr. Michael Kuchinsky is no exception to this practice, and the proof is on display at the Tucker Student Center Art Gallery through Nov. 3 with an exhibit that unveils his love for both photography and painting.

Many people are familiar with Kuchinsky in his role as associate professor of political science at Gardner-Webb.  But many are not aware that he attended seminary and earned a Master of Divinity at Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, Ill.  The art exhibit is titled, “Through a Glass Dimly—Crossing Borders and Some Sights Along the Way,” and it features various photographs and supplemental paintings arranged in five subject/concept cuts.

“I believe this exhibit is truly a testimony to the power of the liberal arts,” Kuchinsky reflected. “I am a teacher, turned pastor, turned activist, turned political scientist, turned artist, using written, spoken, and visual word for messaging across a lifetime.”

Currently, Kuchinsky teaches political science from a global perspective. Founder and advisor for Gardner-Webb’s Model NATO and Model Arab League programs, he teaches courses on African politics, Middle East politics, Asian politics, international relations, and global understanding, among others.  He believes his artistic endeavors offer him an opportunity to enjoy both a needed separation from—and a valuable combination of—his roles and responsibilities.

“Photography has at times been something I have used as a personal expression—something to just go out for a day and do something that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with my profession at Gardner-Webb—that is really a treat, a moment of grace,” Kuchinsky shared.  “My role as a professor can certainly be discerned through a number of pieces which are political or end up being used in classrooms as pieces of evidence or to help groups in small communities.  So I can definitely see application both personally and professionally.”

Although photography has long been an art form through which he has found expression, painting is a more newly acquired skill.  “Painting is more recent and I can’t tell you why,” Kuchinsky declared.  “I just woke up one morning saying, ‘I want to paint.’”

His mother is an accomplished water colorist, but he primarily works with acrylic paint. His private emotions and inner struggles are often voiced through the practice of painting.  “I have been living with cancer for the last four years, so painting didn’t begin synonymously with the start of the disease but is has been a part of this phase of my life,” Kuchinsky explained.  “There is at least one painting [not on display] in which I have used the art form to rail against the disease.  So all of this is sort of a personal extension of who I have been over the years.”

An artist’s talk is planned for Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. in the Time Warner Cable Theatre, located in Tucker Student Center.  A reception will be held following the talk, and Kuchinsky said the date was especially meaningful to him because it is an international observance of United Nations Day.  For more information on the exhibit, contact Justin Humphries at 704-406-4656.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University blends a liberal arts core curriculum with more than 55 major and minor professional programs of study, a comprehensive academic experience that flows from our Christian commitment to intellectual freedom, service and leadership.