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President’s Commissioned Art by Rhodes Student Grace Porter Installed in Dining Hall

Publication Date: 5/15/2014

At this year’s Awards Convocation held in April, Grace Porter ’15 was recognized with the President’s Commissioned Art Award. The piece now hangs in the new dining hall of the Rhodes Refectory. Titled “Accumulation,” it is composed of 108 hand-cast and painted plaster tiles mounted on wood.

The President’s Office at Rhodes and the Department of Art and Art History jointly commissioned the work to recognize the artistic talents of Rhodes students and offer them an opportunity to execute a site specific commission; to support the creation and placement of large scale artworks on campus; and to expand the Rhodes art collection.

“The process of casting plaster tiles is one that Grace learned in Professor Ben Butler’s ART 207: Intermediate Sculpture class, and he facilitated the fabrication and installation of her artwork,” says Erin Harmon, chair of the department. “Grace took this process to a whole new level of ambition with the complexity and scale of her design. The piece is mounted on several wood panels that fit together like a giant jigsaw puzzle and colors where carefully chosen to match or compliment the palette of the existing masonry in the space.”

A committee reviewed proposals and selected Porter as the commissioned artist last fall. Her deadline for submitting completed work was April.

Adds Harmon, “The Refectory offers the perfect venue to display large scale artworks—the space is vast, well lit and a meeting place for the entire campus community. It’s a great opportunity for students to create something that will not only become part of the Rhodes permanent collection of art, but also to create a visual impact in places we all see and live in every day.”

A call for proposals for the second President’s Commissioned Art Award will go out to students in the fall. All students on campus are encouraged to submit proposals.

Tags: Art and Art History, Arts/Performances, Campus Life, Honors, President, Students