NC State University Names New Director
of the Gregg Museum of Art & Design
ARTS NC STATE and the Division of Student Affairs are pleased to announce the appointment of Roger Manley as the new director of the Gregg Museum of Art & Design at North Carolina State University, effective June 1. Manley formerly served as the curator for the Gregg Museum in the 1990s when it was named the Gallery of Art & Design. His first show for NC State was the 1988 exhibition, A Blessing From the Source, which featured the 3,500 biblical sculptures of the late Outer Banks visionary folk artist Annie Hooper.
Manley has worked as a curator with more than forty other institutions, including the Asheville Art Museum, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Center on Contemporary Art/Seattle, the Collection de l’Art Brut in Switzerland, the Columbia Museums of Art & Science, Duke University, Green Hill Center for NC Art, the Haggerty Museum of Art, the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, the Illinois State Museum, Intuit/Chicago, the Jargon Society, the McKissick Museum of the University of South Carolina, the NC Museum of Art, the Sawtooth Center for Visual Design, and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art. Manley curated the inaugural exhibition for the opening of the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, and his third major show for AVAM, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, currently remains on view.
As an artist (photographer, filmmaker, writer), Manley has been a fellow of the Headlands Center for the Arts in California, the Fondation d’Art de La Napoule in France, and Mishkenot Sha’ananim in Israel, as well as a Visiting Artist with the NC Arts Council’s community college programs. He is a recipient of both the NEA Artists Fellowship and the NEH Scholars Fellowship, and of grants from the Watson Foundation, the NC Arts Council, the Laurie Foundation, the Bunnen Foundation, and the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation. His feature documentary film Mana—beyond belief premiered at Lincoln Center in New York in 2005 and has won awards at several international film festivals. The NC Independent newspaper awarded Manley its Community Arts “Indy” Award for service to the arts in the Triangle.
Manley has produced numerous exhibitions of his own photographs of Hispanic migrant farmworkers, Palestinian villagers, Gullah Sea Islanders, Australian Aboriginals, Native Americans, Canadian gold miners, prisoners, textile mill and factory workers, and self-taught artists. His photographs are in the collections of a number of internationally recognized institutions. His books, however, reveal a more playful interest in the quirky and bizarre. In addition to books on outsider art like The End is Near!, Self-Made Worlds, Signs and Wonders: Outsider Art Inside North Carolina, and Tree of Life, he has co-authored Dear Mr. Ripley: Wonders of the Age from Ripley's Believe It Or Not! and Hoaxes, Humbugs, and Spectacles, and has completed three books for the Weird US series (Weird Carolinas, Weird Louisiana, and Weird Tennessee). For fun, he hunts fossils, haunts flea markets, and practices Darwinian gardening (survival of the fittest).
Associate Vice Chancellor Alex Miller, who administers the ARTS NC STATE visual and performing arts programs, commented, “Roger Manley is an artist of vision and insight whose intellect and distinctive imagination are readily apparent in his work. His exhibitions, films and written work have demonstrated an inspired creativity and a rare ability to connect audiences of all ages with art, ideas and the joys of personal and intellectual exploration that art and craft provide. Roger has the respect of artists, administrators, educators and collectors, and he will provide exceptional leadership for the Gregg Museum. I am delighted that he will be rejoining us here at NC State to work with the outstanding staff of the Gregg, and our campus and community friends and supporters.”
Manley was born in San Antonio, Texas, grew up in an Air Force family, and graduated from Davidson College in 1974, after which he spent two years living in the Australian Outback with a tribe of Aboriginals. He later completed graduate work in Education at the University of Denver and in Folklore at UNC-Chapel Hill. He is married to the writer and photographer Theadora Brack.