Fifth Give Your Heart to Art celebrates all who contribute to Radford's vibrant art community

Z.L. Feng, with President Penelope Kyle

Supporters and friends of the Radford University Arts Society gathered for the fifth annual Give Your Heart to Art, a celebration of campus' artistic life.

For this edition of the popular event, held Jan. 28, guests received a sneak peek at "Art of Feng No. 3," the newest exhibition in the Radford University Art Museum at the Covington Center.

In the exhibition, internationally renowned artist and Radford University Professor of Art Z. L. Feng showcases the watercolor, pastel and oil landscapes and portraits he created during a 2015 fall sabbatical in China and other places.

In addition to early access to the exhibition, the art lovers in attendance - which included Radford University Board of Visitor members, Radford University Foundation leadership, current and retired faculty, alumni and friends - enjoyed a dinner, conversation and remarks from Feng, Radford University President Penelope W. Kyle and College of Visual and Performing Arts Dean Margaret Devaney.

Kyle spoke of Feng’s influence not only on campus, but also around the world, where he has received great acclaim from collectors, publications, art societies and the students he has impacted as a teacher.

"Thank you for being an outstanding mentor to our students and for using your gifts to create artists of the future here at Radford University," Kyle said.

The president also took a moment to recognize the generosity of those who support the arts at Radford and thanked them for helping the university showcase fine art as a tool of learning and artistic growth for students and community members alike.

Feng gave an artist talk about his work and what visitors would see in the exhibition and extended a heartfelt thank you to those who showed up to honor him – some from as far as California.

"I am so honored," Feng said, before announcing that he would be giving something back himself: half the proceeds from art sold during the exhibition will be donated to the Z.L. Feng International Scholarship Endowment in Art.

The 2015 recipient of that scholarship, Keturie Hehn, joined Feng at the event and spoke of her sincere appreciation for his tutelage and scholarship support.


In addition to Feng's pledge, proceeds from Give Your Heart to Art admissions benefit the Radford University Art Museum Art Acquisition Fund.

Devaney offered an update on the museum for patrons. In addition to the opening of a new gallery at the Bondurant Center in downtown Radford, the museum in the past year hosted important international works such as tribal Gond art from India, sponsored and curated by John Bowles, and Eric Finzi's evocative art based on his ancestors, the Finzi-Contini family, and their survival during World War II.

Devaney asked guests to return in the spring, when the museum will host a photographic exhibition, "Looking at Appalachia: A Fresh Approach."

Devaney also highlighted specific acquisitions made possible by Give Your Heart To Art and events like it.

"Thanks to the support of people like you, the art museum continues to augment its collection with works of art by prominent artists such as Andy Warhol, Georges Rouault and Pablo Picasso," she said. "With your continued patronage, we look forward to enhancing our collection even further. Thank you."

The Radford University Art Museum system comprises five gallery spaces: the Art Museum at the Covington Center, the Art Museum Downtown, Gallery 205 and two satellite galleries located in Muse and Tyler Halls. Admission to all spaces is free.

The museum strives to provide an environment in which students as well as other members of the university community and the general public can study and learn by directly experiencing works of art. To this end, the museum tries to exhibit, study, interpret, acquire and preserve works of art of the highest quality in a variety of media that represent cultures and artistic styles found throughout the world.

Feb 2, 2016