When you think of WVU, what comes to mind? The beautiful architecture of Woodburn? The three different campuses throughout Morgantown? Or the mountaineer that commonly comes to events to get the crowd excited for game day? Any of these answers are acceptable, and often what comes to the mind of students when asked this question. But what about the art museum? The one owned by the university and that is about a two-minute walk away from Evansdale Crossing? Oh, you haven’t heard of it? I hadn’t either until I got a work-study job there at the beginning of the school year. I showed up to my first day at work expecting a dingy building with nothing too fancy, but I was pleasantly surprised. The outside of the building alone blew me away. The museum is actually decently sized and filled with two galleries, classrooms for art-based classes and a grand hall where they often have weddings or other gallery events. There is a walk around the museum that features many different sculptures, and fall is the perfect time to do this since there is an aesthetically pleasing view of all the orange and red-colored leaves. If you are looking for something fun (and free) to do, checking out the art museum should be at the top of your list.
Currently, there are two exhibits open to the public. One is called the Collective Insight: The Harvey and Jennifer Peyton Collection. These pieces of art have a theme: they are all done by diverse artists “who were committed to advancing social justice through their artistic pursuits.” Walking into the gallery almost resembles stepping out of a time machine set for the past, seeing all the work made to showcase some of the revolting racism and classism that happened just a couple decades back. The pieces are very eye-opening, each with a caption that explains what the artist was trying to convey and the meaning behind it.
The other exhibit, which just opened in the middle of October, is called Cut Up/Cut Out. This exhibit is filled with artwork from artists across the world. Every single piece has something in common; whatever the material that the art is made of is cut or pierced in some fashion. There are maps and atlases that are cut into beautiful shapes, whole scenes of Paris and Japan made out of money and so many more pieces made out of anything one could imagine. It goes to show just how creative people got when creating their artwork, and it is my personal favorite.
All in all, the art museum is one of my favorite places on campus. And since it is so unknown, you rarely have to fight a crowd. With all the natural lighting throughout the building (especially on the top floor), it also makes it one of my favorite places to study. The art museum is truly a great find on campus and not one that many students know about. I have told some of my friends that I work at the art museum and they will look at me in bewilderment since they didn’t know WVU had one. I want all students to be able to get the most of their experience while they are here and see everything there is to see. Here is their website with their hours, events and exhibitions. Enjoy the art while this museum is still a hidden gem!
Edited by Sydney Keener