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Public Art

Beyond Bardo Arts Center

An initiative of the WCU Fine Art Museum, the goal of the Public Art Program is to place artwork in public areas on campus so that the Western community can appreciate it on a daily basis. Artwork by faculty, students, and alumni of the School of Art and Design as well as select works from the permanent collection are featured in the program. The Public Art Program is part of WCU’s ongoing commitment to lifelong learning, quality of life, and academic success.

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Public art locations


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Newest Outdoor Sculpture

Rendering courtesy of the artist, Hoss Haley.

Rendering courtesy of the artist, Hoss Haley.

Staurolite, by Spruce Pine artist Hoss Haley, is the newest permanent exhibition in our collection of outdoor art. This new work is part of a comprehensive initiative within the Apodaca Science Building spearheaded by WCU's Public Art Committee and the WCU Fine Art Museum. View our newest outdoor sculpture outside the WCU Apodaca Science Building and learn more about the sculpture, Staurolite.


Public Art Program Collection

Art work in front of Bardo Performance Hall

Neil Noland, American 
Captured Souls, 1996 
Formed steel, 77 x 60 inches 
Location: The John W. Bardo Fine & Performing Arts Center 
Gift of the artist 1998


William Bennett, American 
Ear, 1997 
Steel, copper, bronze, solar collector, light, canvas, 16 x 23 x 8 feet 
Location: Ramsey Center 
Purchase 2004

guardian angels

Be Gardiner, American 
Guardian Angels, 1993 
Marble, each figure 8' x 15" x 20" 
Location: H. F. Robinson Administration Building 
Gift of the artist 1998

the catamount

Richard Hallier, American 
The Catamount, 2000 
Location: Campus Entrance 
Gift of Irwin and Carol Belk


Jeral Kledis, American 
Eclipse, 1992 
Welded, painted steel, 96 x 80 x 60 inches 
Location: Breeze Gym 
Gift of the artist 1994

Art work at HHS

Stephanie Nichols, American 
Passage, 1996 
Various sizes, 80" x 20" diameter 
Location: Health and Human Sciences Building
Purchase 1998

North Carolina's Artworks For State Buildings

The State of North Carolina purchased or commissioned artworks for state buildings beginning in 1982. Between 1989 -1996, artworks were commissioned using one-half of one percent of a state building's construction budget. Through the Artworks for State Buildings Program, 61 projects around the state were completed. The last contracted project was installed in 2000. The program is documented in a published catalog Creating Place: North Carolina's Artworks For State Buildings available through the North Carolina Arts Council and on line at

tools we use

Kathy Triplett, American 
The Tools We Use, 1996 
Ceramic tiles, 48 x 160 inches 
Location: Belk Building Atrium

working out

Kathy Triplett, American 
Working Out, 1996 
Ceramic, each 48 x 20 inches diam 
Location: Reid Gym

mountain gate

Jim Gallucci, American 
Mountain Gate, 1997 
Steel, 80 x 96 inches 
Location: Cordelia Camp Building


Al Frega, American 
Chalice, 1996 
Concrete, stainless steel, 96 x 48 x 48 inches 
Location: Moore Building/upper campus


After nearly twenty years of hosting Outdoor Sculpture Competitions, Western Carolina University is now taking the next step in its commitment to the research of contemporary public art. Western Carolina University is implementing an exciting Public Art Master Plan in conjunction with the current Campus Master Plan. The following is a description of the Public Art Campus Master Plan and the implementation process. The Western Carolina University Art Master Plan is a mapped and written program of art location, requirements, and process that reflect the history and identity of the campus and community. Specific sites for art are established based on current campus development, existing elements, and historical significance. The art placed in these sites are programmed through several approval and requirement processes to:

  • Enhance the Location Aesthetically
  • Engage the Viewer
  • Emit Historical, Present Day and/or Future Significance

The Public Art Master Plan developed for Western Carolina University is a collaborative effort between Woolpert, Inc., the Fine Art Museum and School of Art & Design, Facilities Management, and University Administration. The Fine Art Museum, in conjunction with the Cherokee Heritage and Fitness Trail opportunities, helped to shape the overall Western Carolina University Public Art Master Plan by incorporating public art with the historical heritage and fitness trail installation. Both programs bring the uniqueness of the campus to life while enhancing the public's awareness of art.

The intention of the Western Carolina Arts Master Plan is to increase public access to public art on campus. The art itself will allow viewers a true sense of the campus from past, present, and future. The master plan encompasses a collective system of art separated into five types:

  • Permanent Art
  • Temporary Art
  • Neighborhood Art
  • Themed Art
  • Heritage Trail Art

Location and types of these art pieces are predetermined and planned in correlation with both the existing campus and with the future campus development to ensure vitality through the campus' progression. As the Public Art Master Plan moves forward, stay tuned to this website for information regarding upcoming Calls to Artists. 

Names of the members of the Public Art Committee:
-Carolyn Grosch
-Denise Drury Homewood
-George Brown
-Gregory McPherson
-Javier Torres
-Joe Walker
-Kim Kopak
-Melissa Wargo


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