Museum Announcement

Weatherspoon Atrium Gets a New Mural by Artist Sheena Rose

RELEASE DATE: JUN 3, 2021

The Weatherspoon Art Museum at UNC Greensboro will debut a dynamic mural in its atrium commissioned from artist Sheena Rose. The project will be on view beginning June 12.

A homecoming is in the works. The Weatherspoon is excited to announce its commission of a major new artwork by artist Sheena Rose, UNC Greensboro MFA ’16. A multidisciplinary artist working in animation, drawing, painting, and performance, Rose’s vibrant and energetic work is at once anchored in her Caribbean heritage and expansive in its explorations of culture and human experience.

A native of Barbados, where she continues to live and work, Rose attended UNC Greensboro as a Fulbright Scholar from 2014 to 2016.

“UNCG gave me a place to think about where I come from—my race, gender, sexuality, and culture as a Black woman from the Caribbean,” she said, reflecting on her time in North Carolina. “It gave me a chance to face myself and move forward with brave steps and to take risks in the studio.”

Since graduating, the artist has had her work featured internationally and recently received the 2020–2021 UNC Greensboro Distinguished Alumni Award in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

For the Weatherspoon’s atrium, Rose is creating a large-scale mural rich in colors and patterns, each of which she links to a particular thought about our current moment in time. While working on the commission, she said she’s been thinking about such terms as: “reflection, future, new era, anxiety, fears, positivity, new movement, new language, innovation, creative, flexible, observant, listen, meditation, pause, and breathe.” The last two words from this list provide the work’s title: Pause and Breathe, We Got This.

Due to the difficulty of traveling during the pandemic, Rose and the Weatherspoon staff worked together on a new creative approach involving the digital translation of multiple paintings and drawings. Rose says she is excited by “how the digital process is adding more to my concept and to my questions about this new era we are living in. It is like a new language, new habits, and a new norm. The work feels very relevant to this current time—from the painting and drawing in Barbados, to the emails and Zoom calls, to the computer programs and machinery that will allow the work to exist in North Carolina. #DigitalMagic.”

This commission was organized by Dr. Emily Stamey, Curator of Exhibitions.

To learn more about the project, visit the Weatherspoon’s website, weatherspoonart.org.

Image: Sheena Rose. Photo by Amery Butcher, courtesy of the artist.

About the Weatherspoon Art Museum

Mission
The Weatherspoon Art Museum at UNC Greensboro enriches the lives of diverse individuals and connects multiple communities, both on and off campus, by presenting, interpreting, and collecting modern and contemporary art. In recognizing its paramount role of public service, the Weatherspoon fosters an appreciation of the ability of art to positively impact lives.

History
The Weatherspoon Art Museum at UNC Greensboro was founded by Gregory Ivy in 1941 and is the earliest of any art facilities within the UNC system. The museum was founded as a resource for the campus, community, and region and its early leadership developed an emphasis—maintained to this day—on presenting and acquiring modern and contemporary works of art. A 1950 bequest from the renowned collection of Claribel and Etta Cone, which included prints and bronzes by Henri Matisse and other works on paper by American and European modernists, helped to establish the Weatherspoon’s permanent collection.

In 1989, the museum moved into its present location in The Anne and Benjamin Cone Building designed by the architectural firm Mitchell Giurgula. The museum has six galleries and a sculpture courtyard with over 17,000 square feet of exhibition space. The American Alliance of Museums accredited the Weatherspoon in 1995 and renewed its accreditation in 2005 and 2015.

Collections + Exhibitions
The permanent collection of the Weatherspoon Art Museum is considered to be one of the foremost of its kind in the Southeast. It represents all major art movements from the beginning of the 20th century to the present. Among the nearly 6,200 works in the collection are pieces by such prominent figures as Henry Ossawa Tanner, Edward Weston, Joseph Stella, David Smith, Jackson Pollock, Elizabeth Catlett, Louise Nevelson, Gordon Parks, Sol LeWitt, Robert Mangold, Cindy Sherman, Adrian Piper, Betye Saar, Amy Silman, Nick Cave, Jennifer Steinkamp, and Sanford Biggers. The museum regularly lends to major exhibitions nationally and internationally.

The Weatherspoon also is known for its dynamic exhibition program. Through a lively annual calendar of exhibitions and a multi-disciplinary educational program for audiences of all ages, the museum provides an opportunity for visitors to consider artistic, cultural, and social issues of our time—enriching the life of our university, community, and region.

UNC Greensboro
Located in North Carolina’s third largest city, UNC Greensboro is among the most diverse, learner-centered public research universities in the state, with nearly 18,000 students in eight colleges and schools pursuing more than 150 areas of undergraduate and over 200 areas of graduate study. UNCG continues to be recognized nationally for academic excellence, access, and affordability. UNCG is ranked No. 1 most affordable institution in North Carolina for net cost by the N.Y. Times and No. 1 in North Carolina for social mobility by The Wall Street Journal — helping first-generation and lower-income students find paths to prosperity. Designated an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, UNCG is a community-engaged research institution with a portfolio of more than $67M in research and creative activity. The University’s 1,100 faculty and 1,700 staff help create an annual economic impact for the Piedmont Triad region in excess of $1B. For additional information, please visit uncg.edu and follow UNCG on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Weatherspoon Art Museum
UNC Greensboro
1005 Spring Garden Street
Greensboro, NC 27412, (336) 334-5770, weatherspoon@uncg.edu

For more information or press images, contact:
Loring Mortensen, (336) 256-1451, lamorten@uncg.edu