Already widely acclaimed as a bold, visually dramatic space that architecturally embodies the future of libraries and educational innovation, the James B. Hunt Jr. Library is adding a new centerpiece facing its main entrance. During July, José Parlá—recently profiled in the New York Times for his signature pieces that celebrate the essential need of humans to “assert their existence in a place and a time”—will be creating a large mural to anchor the south end of the library’s second floor.
Known for his essential credo that powerful art “makes us aware that we are not mere passive bystanders, but active participants in the world we see,” Parlá’s piece, Nature of Language, will not only complement the building’s light-filled grandeur and inspiring use of color, but its spirit will capture the essential goal of the Hunt Library to encourage and enable anyone in the building to engage passionately in learning and discovery.
Parlá’s art has appeared in major exhibitions in New York, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Paris, and he has recently completed high-profile commissions in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. His paintings and other works also reside in The British Museum, The Concord Project of the City of Toronto, the POLA Museum of Art in Hakone, Japan, and are held in the private collections of Eric Clapton and Tom Ford.
“In the six months the Hunt Library has been open, we have been incredibly gratified to receive a wave of international attention from educators, students, researchers, the architectural community, and others for how well the building’s design creates a sense of passion, ideas, and vision,” says Susan K. Nutter, Vice Provost and Director of the NCSU Libraries. “We could not be more grateful to the private donors who have given us the treasure of a bold, beautiful José Parlá piece to bring the excitement and joy of his art into this iconic space for NC State University.”
“Where’s Walter?”: Added bonus if you’re on campus
Much of the power of Parlá’s work comes from creating a seemingly abstract painting from—if you look closely enough—actual words. José crafted the Hunt Library piece from words that inspired him in his time in Raleigh and in the new library. Can you find “opportunity” (a word he says he especially put in for the engineers he talked with on campus), “Sir Walter Raleigh,” “James Hunt,” “nature of language,” or “bookBot”?