Troy University has a long, rich art tradition, and the Janice Hawkins Cultural Art Park is bringing that tradition to the forefront.
The Huo Bao Zhu Gallery, located inside the International Arts Center, will house a revolving gallery of art and visiting exhibits, but the first such exhibit focuses on the art of TROY faculty past and present.
The Heritage Exhibition includes work done by faculty members throughout the history of Troy University, including several still working for the University.
“This is the very first exhibit in this gallery,” said Pam Allen, chair of the department of art and design. “This is a momentous occasion. It’s the teachers who have been here and had this dream that there would be more. We had the idea to do a faculty exhibit, but we wanted it to be more than just current faculty, so we started going back.”
The works displayed in the gallery include paintings, sculptures and videos, among others.
“A lot of the teachers are deceased, so we still wanted to honor them. We’re here because of them,” Allen said. “We’ve grown because of them.”
In addition to current faculty members supplying pieces, works from prior faculty members came from a few different collections.
“There are key people, and Pat Duke is one of them,” Allen said. “Pat’s mother is Alice Thornton, who practically started the art education program at TROY and taught here. She also collected a lot of the artwork. The other key figure is Duane Paxson, a teacher here whose father was chair of the department very early, and he, too, had a key collection.”
The Heritage Exhibition will remain in place at least through this semester. After that, Allen plans to bring in an alumni showcase.
Mrs. Janice Hawkins praised the Heritage Exhibition as a wonderful way to launch the Huo Bao Zhu Gallery.
“This is the beginning of this wonderful facility,” she said. “I can’t tell you how proud I am.”