New Space in Green Hall unveils creative masterpieces
For a long time, dust, the sounds of machines whirring and caution tape filled what was once the student collaborative space at Green Hall. Now, for the first time, the newly erected walls finally showcase what they were built for: art.
Freshly opened and with various displays, the Liberty University Art Museum at Green Hall welcomed its inaugural artist display. The journey to reach the point of even being able to host an art museum at Liberty was a process.
Chair of Liberty’s Department of Studio & Digital Arts, Todd Smith, said that the process of establishing the museum is the result of many years of faithfulness.
“If I had to say anything, the museum is the culmination of many years of prayer,” Smith said. “This is part of a vision that we had … of having a space for artwork that was in an educational and teaching wing of the art department.”
The art museum migrated from an office, to an area in DeMoss Hall, to a smaller space at Green Hall and now to its permanent art museum in the middle of Green Hall.
This new space was made possible by Barbara Engstrom when her personal art collection and part of her estate was donated to Liberty in December 2021 at the time of her passing. Engstrom, an accomplished artist herself, has a permanent exhibit within the museum as well as free books about the museum for visitors to pick up.
Located right inside the entrance, the museum’s first art collection displays pieces from artist David Heath, who resides in Bedford County, Virginia. Heath specializes in pieces depicting the American landscape, primarily riverfronts and mountains.
His paintings are featured in private, public and corporate collections across the United States, Asia and Europe.
Smith said that the museum seeks to only host the best artwork around from various artists.
“What we try to do here is to exhibit the best artwork that can be found. For instance, David Heath is a nationally known artist who lives here locally,” Smith said.
The opportunity to view this world-renowned art is a unique, observational and educational experience at Liberty. Heath and the other featured artists that will be at the museum offer the opportunity to inspire museum visitors like Will Hannah.
“I really loved the museum and all of the art here,” Hannah said. “It’s really cool to be able to come in and observe the points of view and gifts from artists who were obviously blessed with talent from God.”
The Liberty University Art Museum is free and open to the public. The museum hours vary day to day, but private tours can be scheduled and conducted any day of the week. The David Heath art display ends Oct. 17, but more artists, themes, collections and exhibits will be on rotation at the art gallery throughout the year.
For more information on the museum hours, exhibition schedule or to call and schedule a tour, visit liberty.edu/arts/studio-digital-arts/art-gallery/.
Rolfsen is a news reporter for the Liberty Champion. Follow him on Twitter