Art Museum of WVU officially dedicated; ready to inspire students and community through 3,000 works of art

The Art Museum of WVU officially opened its doors to the public Aug. 25 with a dedication ceremony. The museum is intended to foster both creative and critical thought for WVU students and add vitality to the culture of the Morgantown community.

Art is intended to educate, to spark conversation, to shape and expand minds, to inspire ideas and to add vitality to the culture of a community – and perhaps most importantly, to foster critical thought and color the world in which we live in strokes of creativity.

Today on the campus of West Virginia University, the Art Museum of WVU officially opened its doors, offering all of these advantages and more to the WVU campus and greater Morgantown community.

“Today, we put the visual arts community at WVU on equal footing with our peer institutions,” said Paul Kreider, dean of the College of Creative Arts, which serves as the academic home of the Art Museum of WVU.

“Today, we increase our educational opportunities for our students and our community,” he said. “Today, we are able to provide more educational resources for the children of our community. Today is a good day.”

Designed by Stanley, Beaman and Sears of Atlanta, the building is located next to the Creative Arts Center. The museum houses more than 3,000 works of art in two exhibition galleries totaling 5,400 square feet. Admission is free.

President Gordon Gee told a crowd of students, faculty and staff, elected officials, community leaders and art enthusiasts that art plays a critical role in a balanced education through giving us the capacity to embrace big ideas and connect with others.

“The arts, quite simply, nourish the soul,” Gee said. “They make our lives richer, more compassionate, more fulfilled. They are, in fact, what makes us human. There is nothing like that exquisite moment when you first discover the beauty of connecting with others in celebration of larger ideas and shared wisdom.”

Gee led the charge for the ribbon-cutting, assisted by a few young – and very important – members of the WVU class of 2033 from the WVU Nursery School, who brought artwork of their own in a show of solidarity with their new neighbors on Patteson Drive.

The Art Museum of WVU will house a collection that has been assembled for more than 40 years through the generosity of gifts and donations from alumni and friends.

One notable collection is the revered work of West Virginia native and WVU alumni Blanche Lazzell, who was born in 1878 in Maidsville and became a pioneering painter and printmaker who played a significant role in shaping abstract art in America. The Art Museum of WVU will feature the largest public collection of her work.

Other featured artists include, but are not limited to: Pablo Picasso, Grace Martin Taylor, Roy Lichetenstein, Andy Warhol, Polly Apfelbaum, George Bellows, Thomas Cole and Maurico Lasansky.

Art Museum of WVU Director Joyce Ice – a Paden City native and WVU alumna who is proud to be back home infusing her passion into her alma mater – hopes the Morgantown community will embrace the new museum as theirs, too.

“The Art Museum of WVU adds to the cultural vitality that makes Morgantown one of the best small cities in America,” Ice said.

To see a full list of events for the Art Museum of WVU’s opening week, please visit the schedule here.



CONTACT: Joyce Ice; Art Museum of WVU

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