Periodically, special projects and timely opportunities arise. Two such occasions are presently at hand, and one has recently been accomplished:

Blackiston Restoration Fund
The Joan of Arc Conservation Fund
Accomplished! The Cole Challenge

The Cole Challenge: Accomplished!

In the spring of 2006, Dr. Waverly Cole issued a challenge to the supporters of the LCVA:  if they could provide $165,000, then he would contribute $125,000 for a total of $290,000 to create an endowed, permanent, and full-time position for collections management.  The LCVA is proud to announce that the challenge has been met.   

This position will be responsible for the management, care, conservation, and stewardship of the works of art held by Longwood University. Income from the newendowment (managed by Longwood University Foundation, Inc.) will provide half of the full-time salary.  The other half will come from Longwood University, which will also be responsible for benefits and annual salary increases as stipulated by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“This gift really demonstrates not only Waverly’s generosity, but his understanding of how museums work,” noted LCVA Board Chairman Heyn Kjerulf.  “The classic story of museums is that they receive really terrific art but do not receive the resources needed to study and maintain that art.  Waverly’s gift assures that the magnificence of the LCVA’s collections will be matched only by its first-rate stewardship of those collections.”

Currently, there are more than 2000 works in the LCVA’s permanent collection valued at over $2 million.  In recent years, the LCVA has been fortunate to receive stunning collections from art collectors Jackson L. Blanton and William and Ann Oppenhimer.  Katie Walker presently serves as the LCVA’s part-time collections manager.  Thanks to the money generated by the Cole Challenge, her position has been expanded to thirty hours a week for the 2008-2009 year. Beginning in 2009, the position will go full-time.

“We are appreciative of Dr. Cole’s leadership and generosity in building the case and starting the fund,” concluded Bowles.  “But it’s also a case where every dollar contributed to the match really makes a difference.  Thanks to all our supporters.”


The Joan Of Arc Conservation Fund

During the reconstruction of Ruffner Hall, many Longwood friends and alumni were anxious to know one thing—“Will Joan of Arc be back in the Rotunda?” After a resounding “Yes,” there was often an audible sigh of relief. During Ruffner's rededication, heartfelt emotions were warmly expressed. “It was like I was coming home. I walked through the door and my heart skipped a beat. Tears welled up in my eyes. I saw Joanie on the Stonie. I was so happy, so proud, and so utterly overwhelmed. I touched her foot and so many memories rushed back to mind.” These words and others like them have echoed throughout the Rotunda since the building’s rededication on April 23, 2005.

Henri Chapu’s Joan of Arc (Joanie on the Stonie) appeared on the Longwood campus in 1914; Anna Hyatt Huntington’s Joan of Arc (Joanie on the Pony) came in 1927. Since then, these sculptures have symbolized Longwood’s indomitable spirit and its dedication to making the world a better place in which to live, learn, and grow. These images are imbedded in the minds of thousands of alumni and friends. However, ninety years of display takes a toll, and both sculptures have required significant restoration.

As Longwood alumni and friends, you know what these sculptures mean to you. You can help ensure that the works will inspire future generations of Longwood graduates by contributing to the Joan of Arc Conservation Fund. The earnings from this fund will make possible the periodic cleaning and care of these sculptures, keeing them in top condition.

To support the project, you can do so via Longwood University's web site or send checks made to the Longwood University Foundation, Inc. with Joan of Arc Conservation Fund in the note section and send to:

Office of University Advancement
Joan of Arc Conservation Fund
Longwood University
201 High  Street
Farmville, VA 23901


LCVA Receiving Gifts and Grants for Restoration of Blackiston Collection

For decades Lester Blackiston served as a blue-collar patron of the arts in Richmond, assisting his artist-friends by trading paintings for food or drink, or purchasing their artworks to supply them with needed cash.  Today those same artists rank among the luminaries of the Virginia art world – including what Blackiston called his “three Bills,” William Amlong, William Fletcher Jones, and William Kendrick.  And in the future – thanks to gifts and grants now solicited by the LCVA – their work will be preserved and made available for the enjoyment of all.

In the last year, the LCVA has received gifts or pledges for $11,250 earmarked for the restoration of these artworks.  First, the Alan I. Kirshner and Deborah Mihaloff Charitable Fund provided funds to work on six of the works, which were exhibited at the LCVA in Enduring Legacy:  Highlights from New Works in the Collection, 2006-7.  Next, Patsy Kimbrough Pettus (LU ’50) made a contribution to further the work.  And in June, the LCVA received notification that the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts awarded the art center a project grant in the amount of $5,000 to support the Blackiston collection’s restoration.

Over the years, Lester Blackiston offered a great service to Virginians in collecting these works, but he did not have the resources or expertise to maintain the artworks to curatorial standards.  Recognizing that the works deserved attention, care, and honor, Blackiston, who died in 2007, donated the highlights of his collection to the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts in December 2006.

“This gift was a rare opportunity,” commented advisory board chair Heyn Kjerulf.  “It was a great fit for both the donor and the organization.  Mr. Blackiston wanted to give his art to an organization that would value it and preserve it in a way he could not.  The LCVA’s primary collection focus is on Virginia artists; and this is a wonderful selection of works by some of the state’s stars.”

The gift to the LCVA consists of about fifty drawings and paintings made by key Virginia artists, including Amlong, Jones, and Kendrick, as well as Phyllis Biddle, Richard Bland, Eddie Peters, and others.  The works are valued at $250,000, but many need significant restoration. 

“We were thrilled to receive the collection,” noted Johnson Bowles.  “However, the part that can be challenging is finding the resources to restore and maintain the art.  That’s why I’m so appreciative of the support we’ve received from several individual donors and, now, from the Virginia Commission for the Arts.  It’s a strong start to the funds we’ll need to conserve these important works.”

The artworks are scheduled for exhibition in 2009; the VCA/NEA grant will support a portion of the costs for the art’s conservation and exhibition.

“We need additional gifts to underwrite the very painstaking – and very expensive – restoration of these artworks,” continued Bowles.  “But it’s been gratifying to have early support for the project.  And aside from the dollars, it’s heartening to see statewide recognition of the artistic value of these artworks in our care.”

To support the project, you can do so via Longwood University's web site or send checks made to the Longwood University Foundation, Inc. with Blackiston Restoration Fund in the note section and send to:

Office of University Advancement
Blackiston Restoration Fund
Longwood University
201 High  Street
Farmville, VA 23901




Longwood Center for the Visual Arts 129 North Main Street Farmville VA 23901 434 395 2206