Community Foundation gives $100,000 to Center for Visual Arts

October 22, 2013

CLEMSON – Clemson University’s Center for Visual Arts has expanded its scope regionally as a result of a $100,000 commitment from the Community Foundation of Greenville.

“We are proud that our partnership with Clemson University supports a growing creative community and will increase the economic development for the surrounding neighborhoods,” said Bob Morris, president of the Community Foundation of Greenville, S.C.

This generous gift gives life to Clemson University’s Center for Visual Arts vision to have presence in Greenville. The grant is partnered with a lease for a facility currently located in the Village of West Greenville along Pendleton Street in downtown Greenville. The new Center for Visual Arts – Greenville satellite facility creates a dynamic, hands-on, “real world” space where students, faculty and alumni are directly involved with art historians, artists, critics and curators in developing, curating, installing, exhibiting, documenting and interpreting the best contemporary art happenings of today.

Clemson always has long enjoyed visual arts presence through its students, faculty and alumni throughout the state of South Carolina, but in the past decade, that presence has grown exponentially in Greenville. First graduate of the Masters of Fine Arts at Clemson University, Jeanet Steckler Dreskin, M ‘73 is an influential local Greenville artist. Her art has been collected by major museums including the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. and can be seen in the Greenville Museum of Art. Throughout the city, former Clemson art department chair and faculty emeritus, John Acorn’s public art is celebrated in downtown Greenville. His public art sculptures are featured in the City of Greenville’s public art tour.

Clemson University’s focus on the arts began with its founder, Thomas Green Clemson.  A known painter and collector of contemporary artwork of his time, he is noted as saying in a speech in 1859 that “art is the magic bond that unites all nations.” Today, this legacy is continued by Clemson President James F. Barker. In dedicating the CVA – Greenville facility, he addressed Clemson’s importance relationship with the arts, “The arts are a very important part, not only of what we see of our history, but also of our future.”

Click Here to see photos taken at the welcome reception for Clemson’s Center for Visual Arts – Greenville.

Click Here to see video taken at the welcome reception for Clemson’s Center for Visual Arts – Greenville. 

Not long after President James F. Barker took office, he called Greenville Clemson’s “home city,” which has never been more true than today. More than 13,000 alumni, 2,500 current on-campus students and 500 University employees call Greenville home.

The CVA-Greenville is just one example of the ways in which Clemson University strives to partner with the region, and provides visual arts in the area. The presence of this facility provides continued benefit for the citizens of Greenville, and the environs, and allows students and other community members to enjoy, embrace, and grow in the art generated by the area. The grant from the Community Foundation of Greenville supports programming for the CVA – Greenville for the west Greenville and downtown community.

The Center for Visual Arts
The Center for Visual Arts (CVA) in Lee Hall at Clemson University is where students, visitors and scholars explore contemporary perspectives in art and culture through research, outreach programming and studio practice. With a mission to engage and render visible the creative process, the CVA is a dynamic intellectual and physical environment where art is created, exhibited and interpreted. It educates through academic research and practice with art at its core, drawing upon varied disciplines to examine critically cultural issues and artistic concerns.

The Center for Visual Arts – Greenville is a satellite of the Center for Visual Arts at Clemson University, which serves as the umbrella for all visual art activities at the university. Though there is not a physical building for this center, the majority of the activities for the Center of Visual Arts are generated out of Lee Hall on the Clemson University campus.

For more information regarding the Center for Visual Arts, visit


Meredith Mims McTigue – Media Contact, 864-656-3883,

Greg Shelnutt – Center for Visual Arts Contact, 864-656-3880,