Despite the weather, Arts Society dinner inspires RU efforts to enrich campus
Their passion for art unabated by a winter storm, the Radford University Arts Society gathered Sunday in the Covington Center for Visual and Performing Arts Foyer for its third annual Give Your Heart to Art dinner.
Almost 50 patrons of the arts, including President Penelope W. Kyle, braved the brisk temperatures and snowy streets to hear Professor Emeritus of Art Paul Frets and current Director of the RU Museum of Art Steve Arbury reflect on 25 years of art at Radford.
The Arts Society supports creativity, award-winning talent, performances, community outreach and student scholarship. The Give Your Heart to Art Dinner was dedicated to enriching the student experience at RU by building the university's collection of fine art.
"Tonight we can see the dedication of the society members," said Chair of the Arts Society Leadership Team Myrl Jones. "Everybody has been really generous and is dedicated to RU having a classic collection that students can access as they study."
Surrounded by the works of ten current and retired faculty members, the Society enjoyed the reflections of Fret, who joined the Radford College faculty in 1964, and was instrumental in starting RU's collection 25 years ago.
"The first exhibition space where students, faculty and exchange shows took place was in a former gymnasium in Founder's Hall and we built it out of particle board and painted it white," said Frets, who recounted the largesse of artists like Dorothy Gillespie and patrons like John Bowles who helped the University collect more than 1200 works of art. A new street-level gallery will open soon in the Bondurant Center on Main Street to complement the RU Art Museum's current gallery spaces: the Art Museum at the Covington Center, Gallery 205 in Porterfield Hall, the RUAM Downtown and satellite galleries in Muse and Tyler Halls.
"It is a rich history that has brought us here," said Joe Scartelli, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. "With your help, we will continue to grow and inspire our students and community with the beauty that comes from the creative process."