Public Art Committee
COMMISSIONED PUBLIC ART
THINK on THESE THINGS - Artist: Charlie Brouwer
Floyd County, Virginia’s Charlie Brouwer inspired work is a sculptural installation titled Think on These Things. His piece consists of seven benches in a 25-foot diameter circle with a tree in the center. Four life-sized human figure sculptures, a female; a male; and two children scatter around the circle, seated in contemplative and meditative poses.
Empty spaces on the benches invite visitors to sit and join the figures in contemplating words that appear around in the concrete around the circle - Indigenous, slavery, diversity, equality, education, history, knowledge, kindness, compassion, honesty, dignity, bravery, clarity, empathy - suggesting ways of thinking on these things.
THRESHOLDS - Artist: Carrie Gault
Carrie Gault’s (Floyd, Virginia) work of art is comprised of a series of simple thresholds; a silhouette the artist hopes will evoke “feelings of domesticity and ask the viewer to think about what ‘home’ means in the different contexts of the site and its evolution from forest to Native American lands to plantation to university.”
The pairs of thresholds explore both past and present, featuring images and stories of people and their experiences in the area across more than 250 years. The pieces are clad in handmade, earthen tiles containing a unique collage of images gathered from archives, family albums, oral memories, and current work. The imagery is intended to demonstrate the interconnectedness of the human condition through time, position, and experience.
COMMISSIONING PUBLIC ART AT VIRGINIA TECH
The Public Art Committee was charged with utilizing art to embody an experience and deliver a platform for audience engagement and reflection. As part of its efforts to engage audiences of all backgrounds in recognizing the full context of Virginia Tech’s histories, the Public Art Committee commissioned two local artists to create public art exhibitions representing Virginia Tech’s marginalized communities and their roles in shaping the university at Solitude and the Fraction Family House.
MEMBERSHIP OF THE PUBLIC ART COMMITTEE
Chair: C.L. Bohannon, Associate Director, School of Architecture + Design; Associate Professor, Landscape Architecture | College of Architecture and Urban Studies
- Samuel Blanchard, Associate Professor, School of Visual Arts; Chair, Studio Art; Assistant Director, Planning | College of Architecture and Urban Studies
- Sam Cook, Director, American Indian Studies; Associate Professor, Sociology | College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
- Jenni Gallagher, Ph.D. Candidate, History | College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
- Brian Katen, Associate Professor, Landscape Architecture | College of Architecture and Urban Studies
- Jennifer Lawrence, Assistant Professor of Political Science | College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
- Meghan Marsh, Communications Manager, Office for Strategic Affairs | Office of the President
- Anza Mitchell, Graduate Student, Science Education | College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
The Public Art Committee put out a global call for creative proposals illustrating ways historically marginalized communities have and will continue to shape Virginia Tech yielded four final works proposed for commissioning on the university's Blacksburg campus. The Committee ultimately decided on two works of art to commission.