Students bring public art installations to North Augusta

A class assignment recently provided art students at Augusta University with a glimpse into their lives as professional artists following graduation.

Turner Simkins, real estate developer for Hammond’s Ferry, had an interest in art works that could be publicly displayed in Hammond’s Ferry. So, he partnered with the Augusta University Department of Art & Design to make this vision a reality.

Students enrolled in professors Jennifer Onofrio and Brian Rust’s upper division art classes had the opportunity to create proposals for this project. Each student presented their proposal to Simkins and other representatives from the Hammond’s Ferry community.

Four finalists were selected, and on Nov. 29, finalists presented their ideas to Simkins and members of the North Augusta Parks, Recreation & Tourism Department. The mayor of North Augusta, Bob Pettit, and City Administrator Todd Glover were also present.

One proposal intends to honor the Native American Tribes who first called Hammond’s Ferry home, while others are designed to promote community.

The judging panel was so impressed with Onofrio and Rust’s students that they elected to fund two of the final proposals, and are interested in eventually funding the other proposals, budget permitting. In order to finance the project, a small fund was made available through the resale of homes in Hammond’s Ferry. Construction on the public art projects is expected to begin late Spring 2018.

“The partnership between Augusta University and the community for this project provided our students with valuable professional experience,” Rust said. “This kind of professional experience is an example of the high impact learning that our department strives for.”

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Written by
Brennan Meagher

Brennan Meagher is a communications coordinator at Augusta University. Contact her at 706-446-4806 or

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Written by Brennan Meagher

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

Students smiling for a photo in front of the James Brown statue downtown.