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Sep 20 2010

NCSU Libraries’ Color Wall to Re-light Hillsborough Street

Media Contact:
David Hiscoe
, NCSU Libraries,  (919) 513-3425

After an incredibly successful fund-raising campaign led by the local community, the Color Wall in the North Carolina State University D. H. Hill Library will be re-lit on September 25, in conjunction with celebrations scheduled for the official re-opening of Hillsborough Street in Raleigh.

photo courtesy of John Morris, Goodnight, Raleigh!

photo courtesy of John Morris, Goodnight, Raleigh!

Commissioned by Chancellor John T. Caldwell in 1972, the Color Wall is a huge display of light and form that beams out over Hillsborough Street through a library window facing the surrounding community. Created by long-time College of Design professor and Raleigh artist Joe Cox, the work is a bold, brilliant, and strikingly whimsical symbol of NC State and the learning embodied in the NCSU Libraries.

Though many have long considered the Color Wall the most significant and loved piece of twentieth-century public art in the state capital, the aging of its original mechanical switching system has made it inoperable for long periods over the last decade or so. Inspired by the interest of a community group convened as the Color Wall Committee, over 150 people who support NC State and the Libraries have donated more than $30,000 to replace the Color Wall’s switching system and set up a permanent endowment to keep it operating into the future. The campaign also received the support of several influential locally-based blogs and benefited from a generous gift of Cox’s paintings from his niece Janice McAninch and husband Skip, works that were shown and sold at the Lee Hansley Gallery.

“The Color Wall has long represented the almost magical merging of science, art, and people that NC State has brought to the economy and culture of North Carolina,” explains Susan Nutter, vice provost and director of the NCSU Libraries. “We are so proud to see it shining out from the Libraries again, and so grateful to the community that made it possible.”

The official re-lighting can been seen from the Hillsborough Street side of the D. H. Hill Library on the NC State campus at 8 p.m. on Saturday, September 25. All are welcome.