Former North Carolina Governor James B. Hunt Jr. will be among those in attendance Tuesday, March 11 at 5:30 p.m. when a renovated gallery and study space in Joyner Library is dedicated to honor East Carolina University alumna Janice Hardison Faulkner.
(Photo by Cliff Hollis)
The Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery is a dynamic space that will serve a variety of needs. The renovations define the formerly open space as a true exhibit area to showcase art created by ECU faculty and students.
The 3,700-square-foot gallery area will accommodate up to 200 guests.
State of the art technology includes two 80-inch LCD panels for digital art, two projectors with 100-inch retractable screens and 16 ceiling speakers. Art will be displayed with an AS Hanging System, which uses cables and hooks to hang traditionally framed and non-traditional works.
In addition to Hunt, who appointed Faulkner to lead reforms in several state offices while he was governor, ceremony speakers will include ECU administrators Marilyn Sheerer, provost, and Austin Bunch; Janice S. Lewis, interim dean of Joyner Library; and Michael Priddy.
The Joyner Library Advancement Council selected the Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery as its flagship project in fall 2012. Chartered in 2010, the council provides advocacy, consultation and opportunity for involvement with library initiatives.
Council members, then chaired by Harry W. Stubbs IV and vice chair Michael D. Priddy, launched a campaign that raised in excess of $130,000. More than 125 donors rallied behind the cause.
“I don’t know what it is about my life experience that attracts people to celebration of it, but I sure am glad,” Faulkner said in an August 2012 interview about the project in The Daily Reflector.
“The opportunity to name the gallery in honor of Janice Hardison Faulkner was especially important to me,” said Priddy, former Pitt County School superintendent and current council chair.
“I am thankful that many felt called to be a part of this endeavor. I am also pleased that we can not only honor Janice, but also recognize everyone who made this project come to life. Their names are immortalized, and they’ll warm Janice’s heart each time she sees or hears their names.”
Funding was also provided by ECU’s Division of Academic Affairs, Joyner Library and the Fred Timms Langford and Verona Lee Joyner Langford Endowment.
“It is a unique and inviting venue for lectures, programs, conferences and receptions. It is a space for experimentation with the new forms of displaying art using the technologies embedded in the gallery. It is a place where students can study, relax and learn. It is a tangible recognition of the life-long contributions Janice Hardison Faulkner has made to East Carolina University and the state of North Carolina,” said Lewis.
When not in use for planned events, the space will be furnished with comfortable seating for student study. The gallery includes a green room that doubles as a place for large group study and collaboration when not reserved for presentations.
In an interview with ECU News Services published in December 2012, Faulkner said of the project: “One of the first things we do when we’re separated from home as college students is to build a little nest, a place that is familiar and comfortable, and meets the requirements you’re looking for like a quiet place to study or a place to put your feet up while you read. So it (the gallery) has an ambiance that is missing from the strictly academic structures (on campus).”
At the entrance of the gallery, a tribute case honors Faulkner. The items on display represent important moments in her outstanding career. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from then East Carolina College. In 1998, Faulkner received an honorary doctorate from ECU.
Among her many accolades, Faulkner was recognized by ECU in 1993 with its Outstanding Alumni Award and in 2007 as one of ECU’s 100 Incredible Women by the ECU Women’s Roundtable. She received the Jarvis Medal in 2009, East Carolina’s highest honor, and in 2012 received the State of North Carolina Award, the highest civilian award given by the state.
“Janice Hardison Faulkner breathed life into the people of our state through her teaching, her leadership and especially her friendship. Being in her presence creates excitement, not quite knowing what wisdom or admonition she might offer at any moment,” said Priddy.
“This gallery is just like her, a place for the sharing of thought, insight and inspiration,” he added. “For me, that is a library: a place where those things permeate the souls of all who enter. Being able to recognize her life and contributions and breathing energy into a gathering space came together naturally for the council and her lifelong friends and supporters.”