Alumna’s Artistic Creations on Display through Dec. 7

PCC alumna Tradesia "Tee" Simpson smiling.

WINTERVILLE—A new exhibit on display in the Eddie & Jo Allison Smith Center’s Michael Aman Jr. Gallery is showcasing the artistic talents of a Pitt Community College alumna this fall.

The exhibit is a collection of works created by 2020 Associate in Fine Arts graduate Tradesia “Tee” Simpson from her time at Pitt and East Carolina University, where she earned a bachelor’s in Fine Art this year. Titled “Divine Evolution,” it features a variety of metal creations, jewelry and digital photos.

“Throughout my journey, my work evolved along with me, growing and moving into my divine purpose, hence the name,” Simpson says. “Every piece is a representation of its own unique story or life lesson, using those lessons to create a ‘dynamic’ outcome.”

Simpson, who also earned a graphic design certificate at PCC in 2021, says her favorite piece in the exhibit is probably “Born Under Water.” She considers the sculpture, which combines enamel, copper, cherry wood, sterling silver and cubic zirconia, to be the collection’s “most dynamic,” due to the “diversity in techniques and materials” utilized.

“As soon as I sketched it, I knew I was going to make it,” Simpson says. “It was my first time hand-carving a wooden handle and combining so many elements of design into one piece. Also, it was one of the last I created while at ECU. I would describe it as my ‘leave it all on the table piece.’”

A Plymouth native, Simpson began her higher educational journey at Winston-Salem State University before transferring to Pitt. Though she enjoyed working with crafts and “interacting with art” throughout her childhood, she didn’t focus on art as a career until coming to PCC.

“Transferring from an HBCU, I believe PCC gave me a chance to re-examine my educational opportunities and align them with my career goals,” Simpson says. “… I give (credit) to my instructors in the Fine Arts Department for the amount of time, encouragement and preparation they put into, not only me, but every student’s next step.”

Simpson is currently employed as an inventory data specialist with WIS International. She also customizes and restores sneakers for clients through her Gotti De’ Guru Kreationz business and sells all-natural fruit juice through her Guru’s Health Hub business. No matter what she is working on, though, she says art is involved.

“Art is a lifestyle and tool for evolution,” Simpson says. “… There’s an art to everything, no matter the sector or medium. I pride myself on being able to see everything from a technical artistic perspective in order to successfully navigate every sector of life.”

Simpson’s “Divine Evolution” exhibit is scheduled to run through Dec. 7. The Fine Arts Department will celebrate her success that day with a closing reception in the Smith Center that runs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.