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Greer Museum: Bringing Art to Community for 25 Years

August 30, 2017

Artist Eric Pardue sets up pieces of his “Small Stories” exhibit in the Esther Allen Greer Museum at the University of Rio Grande. The exhibit will be on display through Friday, September 22.

Artist Eric Pardue sets up pieces of his “Small Stories” exhibit in the Esther Allen Greer Museum at the University of Rio Grande. The exhibit will be on display through Friday, September 22.

The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College Esther Allen Greer Museum has served the Rio community as a cultural fixture for art for 25 years. Since it first opened, the museum continues to play a key role as a venue for visual arts in both the institution and the community. Jim Allen, professor of art and museum director, said he is excited for the exhibits coming to Rio this semester.

“We have a great line-up of visiting artists coming to Rio this semester,” Allen said. “We love to share knowledge and exchange our thoughts with visiting artists. I believe both our students and community will really enjoy interacting with these artists and will find a personal connection to the exhibits.”

The museum hosts several artist exhibits throughout the academic year, giving students and the community the opportunity to see a wide variety of unique art styles from local, regional, national and even international artists. To start the milestone year, artist Eric Pardue’s “Small Stories,” exhibit will be on display through Friday, September 22. The exhibit displays ceramic pieces made of low-fire earthenware clay decorated with decal. Pardue, of Milton, West Virginia, has worked for over a year creating the decals by digitally manipulating old magazines and photographs and then adding them to the pottery. He said he is excited to share ideas and his work with the students and the community.

“Not a lot of people in this area have seen my work, so it’s nice to bring it out of the studio for the public to see,” Pardue said. “I’m also excited to talk with the students about the techniques I used for this exhibit and maybe even inspire some ideas for their own work.”

The Esther Allen Greer Museum first opened in 1992 to provide students and the community with a venue for visual arts. Each year, the museum hosts exhibits from Rio students, a juried high school art show and a senior citizens exhibit through the Area Agency on Aging. The museum also includes a permanent exhibit of the collection from the Brooks Jones Estate, which includes works by both historic and contemporary artists. The late Brooks Jones, a native of Jackson, willed several pieces of his private and diverse art collection to Rio.

“Art is part of the fabric of higher education. I think it is so important for our community members to share that same experience and get a personal sense of what our own students will be doing in the field once they graduate,” Allen said. “As an educational institution, we have a responsibility to serve our community. The Esther Allen Greer Museum does just that by providing a venue to experience art including work by our students. We are also very fortunate and grateful to have the permanent exhibit from the Brooks Jones Estate, which includes work from several internationally-famed artists, which we can share with the community.”

Pardue’s exhibit is open at the Greer Museum to the public 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays until September 22, with an artist’s reception Thursday, September 21 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Anyone interested in more information about either “Small Stories” or viewing the permanent exhibit can contact 740-245-7254 or 740-245-7364.