Exploring Campus: Molly Wiley Art Building

By Gena Anderson | ganderson@flagler.edu
Photos by Chryssha Guidry

There’s a rather unique building next to Kenan Hall. I bet you knew that, but unless you’re an art student or the best friend of an art student, you probably haven’t been inside it.

That building is the Molly Wiley Art Building, the one that the train trolley drivers always brag about because of the smoke stack. Well, there’s a lot more to the Molly Wiley Art Building beyond the construction of it.

I will be the first one to tell you how much I love that the building has columns made from palm tree trunks. I am also often raving about the spiral staircase in the middle of the building, even though its characteristic squeaking always leaves me concerned about its stability.

One of Flagler’s best kept secrets is that we have some phenomenal student artists on this campus. It shouldn’t be a secret, but it is because so much of their work goes unnoticed, especially work they do for their classes.

This is baffling to me because the best-of-the-best gets displayed all of the time. It just gets displayed in a place most people don’t tread but should: The art building.

If I could personally take every single student through that building about once a week I would. Unfortunately I can’t. I do encourage everyone walk through it on their own though.

Students’ artwork gets put up for display in the art building rather frequently. The walls are often plastered with images created for class, and the halls are filled with installation pieces. Plus what goes up gets rotated all the time.

The professors encourage students to walk through the building. Please take a few minutes out of the week to walk around and see what the students have been up to. You won’t regret it.

Of course keep in mind that it is a place of learning and often the professors keep the doors open while class is in session so please keep talking to a respectful volume. Discussion is highly encouraged, just not loud discussion.

There are a few things to keep in mind while walking around the art building:

  • Don’t be loud
  • Don’t touch work that isn’t obviously interactive
  • Pick up after yourselves

Both floors often have work displayed on them, so make sure you go upstairs as well. Feel free to spend as much time as you’d like to look around. Explore; our art professors are typically very nice and won’t yell at you for getting lost so long as you aren’t being disruptive.

If you find something you really like, tell the artist. Trust me when I say that the majority of art students get burnt out sometimes, and when someone appreciates their work it does a lot to encourage them to keep working.

I will be exploring campus and will post the coolest new place I found, because let’s be honest: Not all of us are living up to our Nancy Drew potential. So check back every other Friday to see what mysterious new place I have found and learn more about where it is and why it is worth going to. If you have a suggestion, let me know.

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