The Blog @
Southern Virginia University

Posts with the tag: Art

  1. Blue Ridge Mural Brightens Buena Vista

    April 14, 2017

    The outer wall of local Buena Vista restaurant, TNT’s, is exploding with the vibrant color of a mural recently painted by Southern Virginia University seniors Elise Madsen and Ammon Milligan, along with several volunteers.

    “We wanted to do a service project for the community that would really make an impact,” wrote Madsen and Milligan.

    With their combined efforts and over 240 hours of service, this new artwork on the corner of 21st St. and Sycamore Ave. is a commemoration of Buena Vista’s 125th birthday. This piece has already brightened the hearts of community members who now see the mural daily.

    “I think it’s great,” said Ruthie Lawhorne, lifelong Buena Vista resident and owner of downtown Vinyl Cuts store just one block away from the mural. “I love the look of it, every time we drive by our family admires it.”

    Armed with paints and brushes, Madsen and Milligan’s desire to serve was supported by the TNT owners who eventually decided on a design depicting a brightly shining sun over the horizon of the varying blue-green shades of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The bottom of the mural reads, “Welcome to the Heart of the Blue Ridge,” and provides a warm welcome to passers-by in tribute to the friendly greetings consistently offered by Buena Vista community members.

    “We worked really hard with a lot of volunteers to make it happen,” Madsen and Milligan said. “It has been a very rewarding experience watching the community bond and be excited about this new addition to the town.”

    Through the combined efforts of Madsen and Milligan, in cooperation with the City of Buena Vista City Arts Council, the owners of TNT’s and more than 15 volunteers, the mural was completed just in time for the beginning of Spring. After hours of designing, planning, painting, and coordinating, the finished mural has already proven to be a stunning visual representation of the gorgeous landscape that the people of this mountain town call home.

    “It has been great working with TNT’s and everyone involved,” Madsen and Milligan wrote. “Like the mural says, we are truly happy to welcome everyone who passes through our town in the heart of the Blue Ridge.”

    Post By Whitney John (’19)

  2. 2016 Elton Lecture: Art and the Core Values

    April 19, 2016


    Every year, a Southern Virginia professor receives the Michael and Kay Elton Lectureship for Outstanding Teaching and Scholarship, and every year the university has the privilege of hearing from the Elton Scholar. This semester, we heard from Barbara Crawford, professor of art.

    Professor Crawford came to Southern Virginia over 35 years ago. Throughout her time teaching here, she has become very well-acquainted with the university’s mission and core values. In her speech, she showed us how much we can learn of the core values through classic pieces of art.

    Michelangelo's_Pieta_5450_cropncleaned_editI found most touching her remarks on Michelangelo’s “Pieta.” She explained that “[the] artist has not focused on suffering and death, but the focus is on the serene expression on the face of Christ and a youthful Mary at peace” and examined the way the statue looks from an aerial view, pointing out the way the circling design unifies the mother and son from a Heavenly Father’s perspective.

    And though much more of consequence was said throughout her speech, as she considered each of the five core values (scholarship, discipleship, accountability, enthusiasm and refinement), it’s her comments on perspective and refinement that struck me most.

    “Don’t always look at things the same way,” she said. “Change your perspective. Look at things from a different point of view. Try someone else’s point of view, or refine your understanding of something by changing — refining  your point of view. Most often, students think refinement is going to a concert or a museum. It’s not the going to the concert or the museum that is refinement, but the results, the change that takes place in us because of that experience that is at the heart of understanding refinement. We can come away with a deeper understanding of ourselves and of our world.”

    (Post by Madeleine Gail Rex ’16. Photos by Sarah Foster ’19 and Stanislav Traykov. Video by Rex Winslow ’16.)

  3. Photos: Travel Study in Paris

    March 31, 2016

    If you graduate from Southern Virginia University without taking advantage of Travel Study, you’ve really missed out. I know because that’s exactly what I did. When I graduated, I realized that between all of my classes and all the extracurricular activities I was involved in, I had never gotten around to signing up for a Travel Study trip.

    But, fortunately, education isn’t something that ends when you’re handed a diploma. Last year, I heard that Professor Doug Himes was taking a group of students on a Travel Study trip to Paris for spring break. I realized that this was my chance to finally make up for what I’d missed as a student and I jumped at the opportunity.

    It was incredible! Paris is simply one of the most beautiful places in the world. The cathedrals are beautiful. The museums are beautiful. The gardens are beautiful. The monuments are beautiful. The metro is — well, the metro is just as ugly and smelly as anywhere. But that was alright because I preferred to walk the beautiful Parisian streets anyway.

    There’s something irreplaceable about travel. It’s almost as if every city sang a song, made up of the millions of voices of its citizens and shaped by centuries of history, art and architecture. You can study a symphony until you know everything there is to know about it, but if you’ve never actually heard it, you really don’t know anything about it at all. Likewise, even if you know a lot about a destination, you can’t know the place until you’ve been there and really heard its song.

    For example, one evening in Paris a friend and I wandered into a small church (only in Paris does it make sense to describe a gothic cathedral as small). The nave was almost entirely empty. We sat quietly in that cathedral as the shadows cast through the stained glass slowly took over the space. Since getting back, I’ve looked up the Church of Saint-Séverin on Wikipedia and I’ve learned things about it that I didn’t find out when I was there. But the online account is missing something: the echoing sound of silence and the setting sun over an old church in Paris.

    The point is that while you’re at Southern Virginia, be sure to travel. The Travel Study program makes it easier than it will probably ever be again. It will enrich your education and your life. Visit for information on upcoming trips and instructions on how to sign up.

    (Post by Alec Johnson ’14. Photos by Bronwyn Himes ’17.)

  4. Art Exhibit: Cameron Burgoyne (’15)

    March 22, 2016

    In my experience, every student who comes through Southern Virginia University inevitably ends up with favorite places on campus. Places that hold special memories. Places they find particularly beautiful. Whether it’s the bench beneath the weeping willow in bloom with hundreds of pink blossoms or the front porch of Main Hall, our campus is filled to the brim with beautiful, special places that will remain in our hearts and our memories for years to come.

    One such place is the Corridor Gallery. Located in between Main Hall and Chandler Hall, this hallway’s walls are always lined with new, different and beautiful works of art. Throughout the semester, the art program displays works of art painted by our students and alumni as well as by visiting artists. I really appreciate what the faculty and students in the art program are doing to beautify and culture our campus through art.

    Currently, the Corridor Gallery is displaying a series of woodblock prints by Cameron Burgoyne, who graduated with a double major in art and liberal arts last year. Cameron is a talented artist who currently works as a graphic designer in the Office of Communications and team-teaches a class on the Adobe Creative Suite. He introduced the exhibit with an opening lecture in the Ballroom. His artistic influences include Paul Klee and Josef Albers.

    “I really feel like a lot of art, especially LDS art, is so much more literal and pictorial than is necessary to convey an idea,” he said. “So in my art, I’m trying to find the simplest way to convey an idea. A lot of what is in me is religious, so that’s what tends to be reflected in my artwork. I find it interesting that Christ didn’t teach very literally, but instead taught in parables and stories.”

    If you haven’t had a chance to see Cameron’s artwork yet, be sure to stop by the Corridor Gallery and check out his exhibit soon! To view more of his artwork, visit his personal website.

    (Post by Hannah King ’13. Photos by Matt Anderson ’17.)

  5. Jennifer Babcock on Art, Family and Culture

    February 10, 2016

    Worn finish, missing spindles and patched upholstery tell a story in Jennifer Babcock’s exhibition of paintings titled “No Empty Chairs” currently hanging in the Corridor Gallery.

    A native Virginian, Babcock grew up surrounded by chairs that her father collected and repaired. Over time, the family chairs came to mean more to her than just places to sit. As part of her opening reception last Friday, Babcock explained what these chair “portraits” mean to her. Like an archaeologist finding cultural significance in ancient treasures, these unassuming, mundane objects represent to Babcock the lives and memories of her family. The lovingly captured, colorful canvases act as an abstract family album, portraying the people and stories that give her a deep sense of self.

    Listening to her presentation and viewing her work made me reflect upon my own grandparent’s home and the objects that pervade my childhood memories. My grandfather’s collection of Native American art, my grandmother’s crocheted afghans, and a roll of stamps that always sat in their kitchen window. I think that besides telling her personal story, Babcock’s chairs are meant to remind us of our own roots because in the end, our family memories will be our greatest treasure.

    (Post by Corey Egbert ’15. Photos by Matt Anderson ’17.)