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COLUMBUS, Ga. — A new painting of Columbus State University’s iconic T.Y. Whitley Clock Tower, named for CSU’s first president, will be unveiled this afternoon during the inauguration of CSU’s fifth president.
CSU’s Alumni Association commissioned art major Julianna Wells to finish her painting in time for President Chris Markwood’s investiture ceremony beginning at 3 p.m. in the Bill Heard Theatre at the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts in downtown Columbus.
The painting will be on display in the RiverCenter lobby during Thursday’s ceremony.
“When asked to paint the tower, I was ecstatic,” said Wells. “Ever since attending CSU, I wanted to make a painting centered around the clock tower because of how iconic it is.”
Wells is a junior in CSU’s Department of Art and a private student of Bo Barlett, an American realist artist from Columbus. Wells is also a recipient of CSU’s Funding Future Artists Scholarship that attracts students nationwide to CSU.
“The inspiration for my artwork comes from nature, my memories, dreams and experiences,” said Wells, a resident of Pine Mountain, Ga. “I would paint watercolors of the surrounding landscape, and that eventually grew into a lifelong passion.”
Wells’ experience and passion helped her design a different kind of painting.
“What makes this particular rendering of the clock tower unique is the addition of people,” said Jennifer Joyner, director of alumni and donor engagement at CSU. “Every other previous painting of the tower does not include people, but the tower is CSU’s main central station. It’s where students play Frisbee, host events and more. It only makes sense that that vitality is permanently depicted.”
“I wanted to show the tower as a hub of activity for students and as a monument to Columbus State University,” said Wells.