Art department’s collaboration with Westobou announced

On Friday, Feb. 10, at the opening of the Outliers exhibition at the Westobou Gallery on Broad Street, Scott Thorp, chair of the Augusta University Department of Art, announced a partnership between the Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and Westobou that will provide more opportunities for students while helping the arts organization further solidify itself as one of Augusta’s leading cultural institutions.

“It’s a collaboration in every sense of the word,” Thorp said.

Shannon Morris, gallery director of the Mary S. Byrd Gallery of Art on the Summerville Campus, will become guest curator of the Westobou Gallery, which Thorp says will increase the relationship between the university and the city, provide a more formalized way for students to interact with community and visiting artists and allow for more extended learning opportunities outside the traditional academic realm.

In turn, Westobou will increase its footprint in the community and gain Morris’ more than 20 years of gallery experience.

“And they want our students, like everyone else does in this city,” Thorp said. “This helps with that, so we can be driving our students down here with greater frequency.”

Though the university has partnered with Westobou in the past, including hosting Transformative Processes: The Sculptural Work of Matt Toole during last year’s Westobou Festival, this collaboration represents an ongoing relationship at a static location.

“Rather than just programing space, we’re going to curate an experience that last over years,” Thorp said. “We’re going to walk you up the ladder of art and culture so that over time you’ll see an ebb and flow in this space of cultural development and awareness and the city will become more prominent in the eyes of the people around us.”

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Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson is managing editor of news & information at Augusta University. Contact him with questions or ideas for Jagwire at