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Public Art Program minimester class installs new exhibit in HFR



By Brooklyn Brown

On Tuesday, May 30, Greg McPherson, Western Carolina University’s Fine Art Museum exhibition designer and assistant professor in the David Orr Belcher College of Fine and Performing Arts, and his minimester class installed a new exhibit in the second floor lobby of the H.F. Robinson Administration Building.

McPherson hosts a minimester class every year titled, “Art in the Public Realm.” The intimate two-and-a-half week course is meant to provide students with an opportunity to learn more about the importance of public art and the art installation process.

“My colleague Carolyn Grosch, our museum curator, teaches an exhibition practicum class,” McPherson said. “We were looking to expand museum programming and museum pedagogy, so myself, Carolyn and Denise Homewood, Bardo Arts Center executive director, decided that it would be a logical extension for me to do a class on public art and all that it entails, which is quite a lot.”

“I try to instill the idea that art can be used to beautify and for aesthetics, and it can also be used to educate. There's a lot of the work that we are doing in Apodaca Science Building that is very site specific and deals with things that are being taught in the building. We are trying to cross pollinate and collaborate with as many people as possible because creativity is not just for artists. You can be creative in any field.”

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Greg McPherson (left) and WCU student Linzy Rainess install a piece of artwork in the lobby of H.F. Robinson Administration Building

As part of the minimester class, McPherson and his students installed the exhibition "When Was the Last Time You Saw a Miracle? Prints by Corita Kent,” in HFR. Kent’s work is a representation of light in a dark period of American history.

“She was a woman in the ‘60s who at the same time as all of the passive resistance and turmoil that was happening, was making prints about peace and love,” McPherson said.

With funding from Provost Richard Starnes, the WCU Fine Art Museum conserved 16 prints, which were showcased last year. They are now generously featured in HFR.

McPherson and his class hope that people will stop by the exhibition and take in the new installation.

“It’s a really nice way to not only showcase what we have in our collection here but also to enrich and enhance your daily experience,” he said. “If we can present something in a different way, maybe that will enlighten someone.”

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