On March 23, Wesleyan’s art department and the Wesleyan Station Goodwill store on Forsyth Road unveiled a new partnership in which the store will feature monthly rotating art displays created by Wesleyan art students, in a newly remodeled space. The first exhibition, titled “The Art of Weaving,” featured creations from Wesleyan student, artist, and weaver Jessica Hughes Pitts ’74 and ’20 (Jessica earned her first degree from Wesleyan in 1974 and is scheduled to graduate in 2020 with her bachelor of fine arts degree). Pitts’ mesmerizing hanging displays, inspired by modern art paintings, celebrate sustainability as she repurposes textile material from Goodwill’s inventory that is not suitable for resale. Sharing her talents with others, Pitts helped students in Wesleyan’s 3-D Design course, taught by Assistant Professor of Art Alexis Gregg, weave their own art from donated Goodwill materials.
The second exhibition featured extraordinary large-scale abstract landscapes by art & advertising and marketing communication major, Ying (Christina) Li ’18. Planning for the initiative began in December, 2016, after Wesleyan president Ruth Knox, who serves on Goodwill’s board of directors, presented the idea to Jim Stiff, president of Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia. “Since its opening last March (2016), the Wesleyan Station Goodwill retail store has become a popular destination for shoppers lured to great deals on fashion finds, and for donors seeking a convenient opportunity to support Goodwill’s mission,” said Stiff. “This exciting new partnership with Wesleyan College provides students an opportunity to recycle donated clothing into art. The community’s generous visits to the convenient Goodwill donation drive-through, and the monthly featured artists in the gallery space provides new reasons to shop at the Wesleyan Station Goodwill store.”
The Wesleyan/Goodwill partnership has also created an internship which provides Wesleyan students the opportunity to work with the store on initiatives connected to marketing, the making of art from recycled materials, and learning to curate art exhibitions. Bachelor of fine arts student Keondria Epps ’18 is the first to hold the internship which begins this summer.