Tribute to the Woman's College
Location: University of North Carolina, Greensboro
Collaborator: Michael Stutz (sculptor)
Graphics: Thinh Nguyen
Video: Click here
Writeup: Click here
The State Normal and Industrial School (now UNCG) opened its doors to students in 1892. The tradition of the Daisy Chain was one of the school’s earliest customs, representing the passing-on and continuity of school traditions and values. The Woman’s College era (1932-63) was a time of great change. Woman’s College students created new and broader opportunities for women of their era and those of future generations. Inspired by ideas such as tradition and change, the design creates a community space that—like the Daisy Chain—connects the past to the present and future and people to place.
The tribute has two main elements: the “garland walls” and a central sculpture. The “garland walls” visually connect people to the legacy of the past through historic photographs and also to each other. Similar to how the College played a transformative role in changing the lives of women, the narrative of the “garland walls” is metaphorically transformed into a sculpture of a woman’s face--Astera. The sculpture is the embodiment of the spirit and aspirations of all the women who passed through the educational halls of the Woman’s College—their courage, determination, intellect, grace... The sculpture can also be read as a modern interpretation of Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom and emblem of the University. “Woven” from strips of bronze, the sculpture also references Greensboro’s once-prominent textile industry.