CULLOWHEE – Thanks to the creative talents of a husband-and-wife team of world-class photographers who met while students at Western, the university is celebrating next year’s opening of the new Fine and Performing Arts Center through a limited-edition calendar that is itself a work of art.
The calendar features 12 images of the new facility by photographers Will and Deni McIntyre, who fell in love in the spring of 1975 as undergraduate students sharing a textbook on romantic poets in an English class.
“The concept behind the calendar was to capture some of the spirit of creativity of faculty, students and staff already evident within the walls of this extraordinary building,” said Robert Vartabedian, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “We wanted to visually share some of creative forces that are about to transform the Cullowhee Valley.”
The McIntyres, who are members of the university’s Council for the Fine and Performing Arts, volunteered their photographic talents for the calendar project, working literally from dawn until after dark for three days to produce the photographs that are in the calendar.
Vartabedian describes the images selected for the calendar as “breathtaking” and “works of art.” They include photographs representing the wide variety of artistic activity that will take place in the building, including theater, music, dance, painting, drawing, sculpture and more.
“Western is indeed indebted to Will and Deni, and grateful to all the members of the Council for the Fine and Performing Arts who are sharing their time and talents to benefit the arts in this region,” Vartabedian said. “This calendar is a celebration of that spirit of creativity and generosity that so characterizes the alumni and friends of this university.”
The Fine and Performing Arts Center is among the projects funded by a $3.1 billion state higher education bond package approved by N.C. voters in November 2000. A $30 million centerpiece for the arts and humanities, the 122,000-square-foot facility includes classrooms, studios, galleries and support space for students majoring in the arts and humanities, and a 1,000-seat hall for Broadway-quality music and theatrical performances .
The art museum includes four separate art galleries comprising more than 4,470 square feet. Individual galleries will hold Western’s permanent collection and rotating displays of contemporary art, drawings and student work. The museum also will feature a gift shop and a large lobby area leading to the galleries. Although finishing touches still are being applied to the facility’s performance wing and galleries, the art department moved into classroom and studio space on its side of the building earlier this year.
Will McIntyre is a 1976 graduate of Western with degrees in English and Spanish. Deni McIntyre attended Western and finished her degree in English at Wake Forest University upon moving with Will to Winston-Salem to launch McIntyre Photography. Working as a freelance photography team for magazines, corporations and picture agencies, the McIntyres have traveled to more than 60 countries on five continents. Their contribution to the calendar is the latest example of their continuing involvement with Western, and the calendar design is an offshoot of their award-winning book, “All Over the Map: Travel Photographs & the Stories Behind Them.”
A limited number of calendars are available for friends and supporters of the arts at Western. For information, contact Terri McDermot, director of major gifts, at (828) 227-3052.