Hege-Cox Hall sees changes for new year


Andrew Walker

The studio is part of the renovations to Hege-Cox Hall, now an art building that features a gallery, several studios and a collaborative classroom.//Photo by Andrew Walker/The Guilfordian

Hege-Cox Hall saw big renovations in fall 2018 that have opened more learning opportunities for the Guilford College art community. Once designed to be a dorm, the building has become a full-fledged art building.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was also held for the building, where President Jane Fernandes was in attendance to see the senior thesis students do the honors.

“The last building was built to be a dorm, so it operated as a dorm for most of its life,” said Associate Professor of Art Mark Dixon. “So we’re kind of jammed in there. They had taken down walls, but it still wasn’t a building that was meant to have art made in it.

“Art facilities are not like other facilities. We spill and we are hard on spaces so having robust materials and surfaces is really important.”

Members of the Tri-State Sculptors, an educational organization for sculptors in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, held a conference in Greensboro in late October and were invited to visit the renovated Hege-Cox Hall.

Dixon says that he hears many compliments about the building’s new spaces and emphasizes that all are welcome to view them.

“I meet people every day who are like ‘Oh, I haven’t been to your new space, it looks amazing,’” Dixon said. “I tell them to just come on in.”

The renovations added a new art gallery, collaborative classroom, senior studios, and a fully equipped ceramics and sculpture studio.

“You used to walk into this bleak hallway with just a bunch of closed doors,” Dixon said. “Now, you walk in and there’s an art gallery space, so students get to see their art.”

Dixon praised Guilford for its commitment to the arts.

“You just don’t hear about a small liberal arts school putting major investments into the arts,” Dixon said.

“This is an era where you hear about schools getting rid of art programs or liberal arts programs. Here’s Guilford putting a tremendous investment in the future of art in this space.”

But Dixon thinks these spaces can be a huge resource for the campus as a whole, not just the art department.

“We are trying to use the building and improvements to serve our art students, but really, we feel like we haven’t honored the investment if we aren’t using it to serve everybody,” Dixon said. “We have new collaborative spaces. (These are) gathering spaces specifically designed for people all over campus to use.

“If I do a collaboration with a biology class in the future, we’ll have this neutral space that has good projection, white boards across the wall and lots of different kinds of furniture….You should wander through here. There’s big outdoor spaces…that are just nice places to hang out.”