Library Exhibitions by artist and professor emeritus Susan Martin Meggs

A pair of art exhibits from professor emeritus at East Carolina University, Susan Martin Meggs, are currently on display here in the Main Campus Library from October 13 until November 30.

Lightness of Being: A Sense of Place is on display in the Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery and Shell-Shocked Shadows is on display in the RIS Hallway. These exhibitions are sponsored by the Friends of Joyner Library

Recent Media Coverage: 

About Susan:

Susan Martin Meggs is a prolific artist living in Greenville, NC. Her work is strongly influenced by her surroundings as a sense of place. As a personal, engaged experience, a sense of place becomes a constantly morphing transformation of identity relative to past and present.

Susan Martin Meggs holds an MFA in Painting from the University of Wisconsin and a MS in Educational Administration from Fordham University. She has worked in a variety of media including sculpture, printmaking, oil, acrylic and watercolor painting, drawing in pen & ink, pencil and oil pastels, mixed media and even environmental and performance art.

Before moving to Greenville, Meggs lived in the vibrant SOHO art district of New York for thirty years and worked as an exhibit designer, commercial artist, educational administrator and professor at The Cooper Union, Pratt Institute, Western Connecticut State University, New York Institute of Technology and College of New Rochelle. She was Curator of Exhibits and Education for the National Museum of the American Indian and was a guest lecturer in Native American Art and Culture at colleges throughout the east coast. After moving to North Carolina, Susan joined the faculty in the Department of Art at East Carolina University, served as a member of the Honors College Faculty and is currently Professor Emeritus in the Department of Interior Design. Her research publications have focused on service-learning, interdisciplinary pedagogy for art and healthcare and the use of virtual reality as a learning environment.

Her artwork is in the permanent collections of Chase Manhattan Bank and Maytag Corporation as well as numerous university and private collections here and abroad. In New York, she exhibited at Sotheby’s, The Drawing Center and A.I.R. and was represented by Barbara Toll Fine Arts. Her work has also been featured in numerous national juried exhibitions.

Rural-Cycle of Life-Rural Boneyard and The Origins of Life. 24 x 28 (oil stick & color pencil)



Lightness of Being: A Sense of Place
Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery – 2nd Floor, Main Campus Library, East Carolina University 

Susan Martin Meggs’ body of artwork in her exhibition, Lightness of Being: A Sense of Place, is strongly influenced by her surroundings as “a sense of place.” As a personal, engaged experience, a sense of place becomes a constantly morphing transformation of identity relative to past and present. Her works are largely divided between landscapes and cityscapes. The landscapes demonstrate juxtaposition of iconography between the built environment and natural forms, as well as the effects of light on the perception of form. A series of oil paintings examines light as cast shadows of natural elements on primarily architectural surfaces.




Shell-Shocked Shadows The Covid-19 Series

Shell-Shocked Shadows 
First Floor RIS Hallway, Main Campus Library, East Carolina University

The black and white print series “Shell-Shocked Shadows” created by artist, Susan Martin Meggs represents a personal response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The response is paradoxical with multiple layers of meaning. Shells and beach are associated with family vacations, tranquility. There is the aspect of transparency of the shells in particular. The transparent “jingle” shells suggest the elusive, transparent nature of the virus and by their shape, a pox. At the same time, shells suggest a relaxing family vacation pastime: collecting shells on a beach. Shells are also skeletons of once living beings, and broken shells suggest loss and broken lives.  The beach and the ocean itself are paradoxes of peace and calm and beauty, versus at the same time always embodying the threat of ferocious storms, flooding and erosion.  The shadows bring up a host of hackneyed narratives: we are shadows of our former selves; the virus is a shadowy, elusive, a threat that lives in the shadows; implications of a looming darkness or an imaginary presence. Again, the paradoxes of light and sunshine and children playing and the shadow of the unseen, or shadow people.

Influence of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Susan’s use of artwork to express her experiences related to the pandemic are both dynamic and powerful. She notes that she has submitted item’s to our ECU Libraries COVID-19 Project and encourages others to do so as well.

ECU Libraries – Documenting COVID-19 in Eastern North Carolina 
Here at the library we realize that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected our lives in similar and different ways, be it mentally, physically, financially, or otherwise. As the world grasps how to cope with this virus, we have been forced to adapt to a new normal.
About the project:
East Carolina University’s Main Campus Library and Laupus Health Sciences Library invite all Eastern North Carolina residents to share their stories with our Special Collections archives. We welcome submissions that document your experiences during the pandemic in any format.
How to Share your Story:
Your experience is important to us and our shared local history.
Future generations will be better able to understand how the pandemic affected East Carolina University and the Eastern North Carolina region because of your contributions.
You can submit materials through our website at or email us (


For more information contact Charlotte Fitz Daniels:  252 328-0287