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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

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Abigail Taylor, Contributing writer • February 27, 2024

First-hand gallery experience

Dr. McCain, a religion professor, explains the details of the pottery shard to senior Spencer Collins. Photo Credit: Mark Olencki.
Dr. McCain, a religion professor, explains the details of the pottery shard to senior Spencer Collins. Photo Credit: Mark Olencki.

By: Sam Veremchuk, Contributing Writer

There are several art galleries that go on every semester, and at least one of them is curated by Wofford students. This semester Assistant Professor of art and art history David Efurd’s Art of Japan class is putting together the exhibition of Japanese art in the Slide Room Gallery in the Daniel building. It is one of the several exhibits on display this semester.

“I think that this is a great opportunity for students, especially for art history students, to work with objects,” says Efurd. “Art history is very object oriented, but it doesn’t seem like that in class sometimes because we’re looking at images that are projected onto a screen; but in reality, what art history is, is working with art, working with cultural objects, working on site. So that’s an aspect that I want to bring into class.”

There are more than 1,000 Japanese objects in the collection that the students are cataloging, most of which were donated. Not much is known about them, which is where the students are able to help.

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Dr. Youmi Efurd, the Wofford curator, says “I introduce the collection to the students, and if they need some helping finding information, or with languages, I can help.”

Youmi Efurd has been the Wofford Curator since 2014.

“I try to utilize our collection a lot. So if it’s possible, I talk to the professors. I ask them what courses they are offering throughout the semester or the year, and I try to accommodate what they need.”

Other professors outside of art history classes also see an advantage in bringing their students to see the exhibit. Dr. Courtney Dorroll, assistant professor of religion, found that it helps students understand the material presented in class much better.

“While the students are here at Wofford, it may be difficult for them to experience culture. Spartanburg does not have many museums, and having these exhibitions opens up the students to a lot of culture they would not otherwise be receiving,” Dorroll says.

Dorroll is also interested in doing a similar project like David Efurd and his class.

“This hands-on type of project would be very engaging for my students. It might show them an area of study that they would not have considered before.”

David Efurd’s students are also excited about these projects. Eli Henson, a junior art history major, believes that “this project will give mean opportunity to experience what art historians actually do.”

Other art exhibits on campus are the Near Eastern Pottery exhibit, which is in the Sandor Teszler Library Gallery, the Julia Elizabeth Tolbert exhibit that is also in the Sandor Teszler Library gallery and the Discombobulated exhibit in the Martha Cloud Chapman Gallery.

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