Wake Forest has long valued art of all kinds, but it must balance its desire to make art accessible and its obligation to preserve the artwork itself.

In our DNA

April 12, 2023

The American actress Stella Adler once said: “Life beats down and crushes the soul, and art reminds you that you have one.” 

As a university in the city with the country’s oldest arts council, art is in the DNA of Wake Forest. It’s long been a value of our leaders and students, as shown through Reece’s revolutionary idea to let students purchase art for the school. 

Every few years, students will keep traveling to New York to purchase incredible pieces of contemporary art. They’ll be shipped back to campus for all to see. No matter where that is in the future — Reynolda, Benson or an exhibition space — art will fill our Wake Forest home, just like it fills Wilson’s. The Reece Collection will continue to be many things to us — a teaching tool, beauty to our spaces, a time capsule of history. People like Wilson, Amador, Finkel and other faculty in the Department of Art will keep stewarding it and showing it off. The Reece Collection will reflect our times, reminding us of the life we’ve lived and that, through it all, we still have one.

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