Arts NC State Category
It’s been open for three months. But today, the James B. Hunt Jr. Library was formally dedicated.
Keynote speaker Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, called the library “a Laboratory of human endeavor, a window to the future.” He said the library embodies the spirit of the Morrill Act, the legislation signed 150 years ago that created land-grant universities such as NC State. Gregorian, the former president of Brown University, praised the vision of Gov. Hunt and his support of education. “I salute you. Today is your day,” he said to Hunt, who sat on the front row with his family.
Chancellor Randy Woodson said the library on Centennial Campus is nothing like the libraries of the past. To those who haven’t been through its spaces, he said, “you’re in for a surprise.’’ Woodson added, “Today’s students need to interact across disciplines in creative ways….We created space for that to happen.’’
The library uses an automated bookBot retrieval system that allows storage of over a million volumes while freeing up more space for study areas. The group study rooms are each equipped with large-screen display monitors, and walls made of whiteboard are ready for students to write down equations and notes. A Teaching and Visualization Lab and Creativity Studio offers opportunities for simulation that can enhance teaching. And patrons can use technology such as 3-D printing. At the conclusion of the dedication, Woodson presented Gregorian with a 3-D printed version of the Hunt Library.
Andy Walsh, student body president, spoke of the buzz among students about the building— saying it was a constant presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. He noted that more than 1,700 images of the library are online through the #myhuntlibrary campaign to collect photos of the library.
You can read more about the library in the upcoming issue of NC State magazine, a benefit of membership in the Alumni Association.
Everett Case engineered unprecedented success for NC State men’s basketball for 18 years while he was head coach. He brought an up-tempo style to a game that had largely been relegated to the half court. And he helped promote the sport in new ways, vaulting the Wolfpack and the ACC to the top of the basketball world.
And it was on this day in 1964 that what many consider the golden age of NC State basketball came to an end, when the coach they called “the Old Gray Fox” stepped down as the program’s head coach due to health reasons. Case would die two years later after an extensive battle with cancer.
During Case’s tenure, the Wolfpack went 377-134 and won 10 conference championships. He won six championships at the annual Dixie Classic, a tournament that was his brainchild. And he coached seven All-Americans — John Richter, Vic Molodet, Lou Pucillo, Bobby Speight, Ronnie Shavlik, Sam Ranzino and Dick Dickey.
Here’s how the 1965 Agromeck summed up Case’s achievements: “There is little doubt Everett Case’s contribution in filling the basketball program with glamour, exhilarating competition, and high-principled sportsmanship is indirectly responsible for the great success in the sport shared by many teams in North Carolina and the South.”
Case was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., in 1982, and into the NC State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012 as an inaugural member.
The former chancellor’s house will be filled to the brim with local artists and musicians this Sunday as more than 2,000 people are expected to gather to see the future home of NC State’s Gregg Museum of Art and Design.
Art Outside the Box is a free event that is open to the public from 12-4 pm and was designed for audiences of all ages. Guests will be able to tour the chancellor’s house, view renderings of the future museum and enjoy demonstrations of art forms such as pottery, painting, jewelry making, origami, calligraphy and digital art. Light refreshments will be provided and a variety of musicians will perform.
The chancellor’s house was constructed in 1928 and has been a sort of hidden landmark in the Raleigh area. The Gregg Museum of Art and Design staff came up with the idea for Art Outside the Box as a way to introduce the public to the new location.
Art Outside the Box will be held at the historic chancellor's house on Sunday from noon to 4pm.
“I got together with some friends from different areas of my life that were interested in NC State and art and we started kicking around a few ideas,” says Anna Ball Hodge, a local artist at Roundabout Art Collective and member of the Art Outside the Box team. “The renderings of the new addition include a box-like structure, so we decided to call the event ‘Art Outside the Box.’
“We wanted to make the event a different art experience than the usual and wanted to include artists who would engage or tempt the public to try different art,” Hodge says.
The Gregg Museum of Art and Design currently is located on the second floor of Talley Student Center and will be there until April. However, various pieces of art have already been moved and are on display at the chancellor’s house. In the coming years, the full museum will be housed at the historic residence as soon as the funds are raised.
Last November, the NC State University Board of Trustees approved the proposal to renovate the chancellor’s house and create an adjoining gallery and educational wing. The total project is a $7.5 million endeavor and nearly $3 million has already been given to NC State and the Gregg Museum of Art and Design through non-state funds. However, approximately $4.5 million still needs to be raised in order to make the 16,700-square foot addition to the chancellor’s residence a reality.
“We wanted to have a party to introduce its new location to the public,” Hodge says. “They wanted it to be free to the public and be a ‘friend raiser.’”
Pearl Fryar, a self-taught topiary artist, is internationally known and will give a demonstration at Art Outside the Box.
The special guest artist at the event is Pearl Fryar, a self-taught topiary artist from South Carolina who has used his own techniques to create a living sculpture garden. Fryar will be demonstrating his art form at 2:30 pm.
“Frayer is the coolest,” Hodge says. “He has such a positive, hopeful, encouraging spirit that goes beyond his creations.”
As guests make their way through the house, Hodge hopes people get a greater idea of what the Gregg Museum is all about.
“The Gregg Museum collection has 26,000 pieces of art and continues to grow,” Hodge says. “We want people to leave the event with a sense of excitement about the Gregg Museum.”
The Craft Center is celebrating NC State’s 125th anniversary by hosting two special events for students and alumni in the next month.
This Saturday and Sunday, NC State students will have the opportunity to participate in the 4th annual Pinhole Camera Challenge at the Craft Center on Central Campus.
The use of a pinhole camera dates back to 5th century BC. Pinhole cameras are lenless and the lens are replaced by a tiny hole in the center of the camera. Students participating in the event will use their imaginations and create their cameras today and tomorrow, using a variety of common household containers, such as coke cans and oatmeal canisters.
On Saturday morning, participants will meet at the Craft Center and learn how to use their cameras. Throughout the afternoon, challengers will make their way around campus and take pictures of subjects and landmarks of their choice before learning how to develop their images in the dark room.
This image of Holladay Hall will be one of many featured at the NC State: Then and Now exhibit on September 7
A photo exhibition featuring the work of pinhole camera contests will be displayed at the Craft Center from September 4 to October 3. The grand prize winner, who will receive $100 and a free craft session with the Craft Center, will be announced September 28.
In addition to the Pinhole Camera Challenge, the Craft Center welcomed the exhibition NC State: Then and Now early last week. The exhibition opened in the R.A. Bryan Foundation, Inc. Gallery and will be open to the public until October 3.
Craft Center instructors Gary Knight and Jeannene Lang will be presenting a special project in conjunction with the NC State: Then and Now exhibit on Friday, September 7 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, specially for the university’s 125th anniversary. The class is free of charge and open to students and the public. No registration is necessary.
Participants are invited to submit up to two original photographs that compare historical NC State landmarks that have special meaning to students and alumni. During the event, submitted images will be shown in a slideshow presentation and will be featured on the Craft Center website.
Frank Thompson was everything athletics when he came to NC State in 1909 after a year at Davidson College. He captained the Wolfpack’s baseball team for two years before he was named its coach. He also captained the football team.
So it might seem odd that on this day in 1923, the basketball facility on campus was named Thompson Gymnasium in honor of him. But the honor saluted more than just Thompson’s athletic prowess.
The son of Judge John W. Thompson, Frank felt the patriotic call to serve his country. According to Hardy D. Berry’s Place Names on the Campus of North Carolina State University, Frank was too old to be drafted for service in World War I. But he enlisted anyway in the Fifth Division’s 15th machine gun battalion and soon became a first lieutenant serving in France.
Thompson was killed in action along the German lines when his division was attacked at Regnieville. “The news of his death reached his father in the Panama Canal Zone where he was serving as a judge by appointment of President Woodrow Wilson,” writes Berry.
Reynolds Coliseum opened in 1949, and Thompson Gym became Thompson Theatre in 1963 after renovations. In 2009, the building was renamed Frank Thompson Hall, which houses the Crafts Center and University Theatre, the home for the dramatic arts at NC State.
Portrait of Chris Hondros taken April 18, 2011, Misurata, Libya. Photo courtesy of Katie Orlinsky.
Friday will mark the one-year anniversary of the death of Chris Hondros ’93, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated photojournalist who was fatally wounded in Libya last year while on assignment. And Artspace is hosting a retrospective of his photographs to celebrate his life and work.
The exhibit, which features Hondros’ work from time covering civil unrest and war in Egypt, Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq, is a collaboration with the Gregg Museum of Art & Design at NC State. The pictures span from his early career to photos from his last assignment in Libya.
“We are showing 22 pieces that kind of span the decade of conflict photography he’s involved with.” says Lia Newman, director of programs and exhibitions at Artspace. “He’s really covered every major conflict. …There are images where obviously people are dying but also some really sweet images of children.”
Two Iraqi girls watch American troops on patrol June 21, 2007, Baghdad. Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Chris Hondros.
Hondros graduated from NC State in 1993 with a degree in English. He worked for The Fayetteville Observer and Getty Images. In 2004, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and he received the Robert Capa Gold Medal, photojournalism’s highest honor, in 2006.
“It’s been interesting having people come in and see the show,” Newman says. “Some people come in and know about Hondros. And others walk in who may not know but they recognize these images. …He’s really taken the images we associate with a lot of these conflicts.”
Artspace will host the exhibit until May 26.
Thomas H. Stafford Jr., vice chancellor for student affairs, has always had an open door to student concerns. And he’s had fun along the way despite having to make difficult decisions. Stafford is set to retire at the end of June, and the Crafts Center is celebrating his 40 years of service to NC State with the exhibit, “A Fond Farewell to Dr. Stafford.”
The exhibit, which runs until May 11, features archived images and stories from The Technician and Agromeck and focuses on Stafford’s motto, “Students First.” Students, faculty, staff and friends are also invited to share their memories of Stafford as part of the exhibition.
If you have questions, please drop by the Crafts Center information desk or feel free to email them to Dusty Fletcher at email@example.com.
Nancy and John Gregg.
Charlotte Wainwright, former director of what used to be called the Gallery of Art & Design at NC State, remembers the 2007 naming ceremony that celebrated the $750,000 endowment Nancy Gregg helped create. The endowment led to the gallery being renamed the John N. and Nancy C. Gregg Museum of Art & Design.
“She walked around to where her grandchildren were sitting and said, ‘This is your responsibility. It’s about what’s been collected. It’s about other people,’” Wainwright says.
Gregg died March 8 after battling Lou Gehrig’s disease for the last several years. She was 78.
Gregg was married to John Gregg ’55, who served on the university’s Board of Trustees in 1989 and 1990. He was a driving force in raising money for the original gallery before it became the Gregg.
Nancy served as president of the Friends of the Gregg, a nonprofit organization supporting the museum, and on the board of Arts NC State. She also served as a docent at the N.C. Museum of Art. Wainwright says Nancy’s service and the charge she left her grandchildren symbolized her role as a keeper of the arts.
“I told her one time she was the mother of the Gregg,” Wainwright says. “She was really a mother in the most positive way, being a role model, someone who never failed to support the things she loved.”
Wainwright also appreciated Nancy’s elegance and grace when she would host afternoon meetings for the Friends of the Gregg at her home. Her pleasantness always made the meetings fun, Wainwright says, and she always left thinking Nancy was a “grand woman.”
“She was just one of those critically important people in the evolution of the Gregg,” Wainwright says. “The fact that it’s named for Nancy and John is a testament to how important she was.”
There will be a memorial service at 2 p.m. today in Raleigh at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church.
Joe and Ginger Taylor never studied at NC State, but they have become strong advocates of the university and major financial supporters of the work being done at NC State.
So Joe and Ginger Taylor will be recognized during Sunday’s basketball game against Maryland as honorary alumni of NC State. The designation, approved by the board of directors of the Alumni Association, has been given to only 14 people. Joe Taylor is an attorney and partner in Murchison, Taylor & Gibson PLLC in Wilmington. Ginger Taylor is a former high school teacher.
The Taylors, who live in Wrightsville Beach, were nominated for the designation by Johnny Wynne, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, in recognition of their contributions to the college, ARTS NC State, NCSU Libraries and Cooperative Extension. The Taylors have solicited new donors to the university and served as co-chairs of the university’s $1 billion comprehensive campaign. They sponsored a garden at the JC Raulston Arboretum during its Raise the Roof Campaign
The Taylors have also donated — and encouraged others to donate — environmentally sensitive land to the university as part of their effort to preserve North Carolina’s natural resources and to promote environmental education and sustainable agricultural economic polices.
“The Taylors’ generosity has inspired landowners to contact our College in the hope of preserving their lands for the benefit of all North Carolinians, while generating income and tax incentives,” Wynne wrote in his nomination of the Taylors. “Joe and Ginger are leading this monumental effort, which is Joe’s innovation. We believe the potential is tremendous, and we have seen a great increase in activity that can be directly attributed to Joe and Ginger’s work in this area.
“Lands contributed by and because of the Taylors are used to further the research, teaching and extension programs that form the mission of our land-grant university.”
While the Taylors did not attend NC State, their son and daughter both graduated from the university. “The personal attention and mentoring provided to their children here is one reason for the Taylors’ strong devotion to our university,” Wynne wrote.
Previous recipients of the honorary alumni designation:
1997 – Jeff McNeill
1988 – Frank Grainger, Sam Lee
2001 – Sue M. Daughtridge
2002 – Kay Yow
2003 – George Worsley
2004 – Dick Robb, Robert A. Barnhardt, Shirley Barnhardt
2006 – Jacqueline and Curtis Dail
2009 – Parker Overton, Frank Weedon
2011 – Don Shea
John Widman ’84, of Arden, N.C., has put his design skills to an interesting new use — building guitars.
At 50, Widman had worked for years at his commercial photography business, but he was not excited about going digital. “I wanted to do something that I was passionate about and I was ready for a change,” Widman says.
That change came in starting Widman Custom Electrics.
The first guitar Widman produced, a copy of a Fender Telecaster, turned out well. “There is nothing like a little success to fan the flames,” he says.
Widman has now produced 20 instruments, keeping only his Telecaster remake for himself. He describes the building process as unique for each instrument. “That is what a custom instrument is all about,” he says. “When a client orders an instrument, it is made to their specifications. The neck fits their hand, they choose the colors and the woods.”
Widman has also produced several electric banjos. The first banjo, an anniversary present to his wife, served as a prototype.
Widman enjoys the freedom and creativity involved with creating a new instrument. That includes inventing new parts, which allows for a lot of fun in the design process.
Widman’s guitars come in four different models from a variety of woods. One of his most interesting instruments came from an abandoned piano, parts of which he initially intended to use designing a coffee table.
“I wanted to salvage the sounding board,” he says. “It has made a very special guitar.”
– Jeannene Lang