BOONE, N.C. — The main gallery in Appalachian State University’s Turchin Center for the Visual Arts has a new name: The Luther H. Hodges Gallery — honoring patron Luther H. Hodges Jr., who contributed $500,000 to support the center’s arts and educational programming for the university and greater community.
App State Chancellor Sheri Everts said, “Luther has been a longtime friend and supporter of the university and a patron of the arts — his gifts have greatly enriched the Turchin Center’s collection of important regional artists. The gallery, named in honor of this generous friend and donor, will feature stellar visual arts programming that brings joy, inspiration and enrichment to our lives, while enhancing the cultural landscape of our region for many years to come.”
Hodges, who lives in Boone, has been a supporter of the Turchin Center for several years and has made substantial gifts of artwork from his personal collection to the center — including a large collection of works by regional artist William Dunlap, a personal friend of Hodges’ who taught in App State's Department of Art in the 1970s.
Hodges spent most of his career in banking — as a former chairman of North Carolina National Bank (now Bank of America) and of Washington Bancorp. Hodges also served as the first United States Deputy Secretary of Commerce from 1979–80.
After retiring from the banking industry, Hodges lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for several years, where he owned a hotel and an arts and cultural magazine. There, he expanded his art collection and his interest in the visual arts, he said.
The Luther H. Hodges Gallery, located on the lower level of the Turchin Center’s east wing, is the largest of the center’s six exhibit spaces, which feature a dynamic schedule of visual arts exhibitions throughout the year. The gallery served as the former sanctuary of the Boone United Methodist Church prior to the building’s acquisition by App State and the creation of the Turchin Center in 2003.
Denise Ringler, director of arts engagement and cultural resources at App State, said, “We value tremendously the partnership we enjoy with Luther and are excited about the opportunity to announce the naming of the center’s premier exhibition space. We appreciate his commitment to ensuring accessibility to the arts for our students, faculty, staff and the many local and regional community members and visitors who enjoy the broad slate of arts programming provided by the center at little or no cost.”
The Luther H. Hodges Gallery currently features mixed media collage works by artists Holly Roberts and Suzanne Sbarge. Beginning in July, the gallery will showcase work by contemporary sculptor Hoss Haley, one of six exhibitions comprising the center’s summer schedule. It also regularly features signature visual arts programming as part of the university’s annual An Appalachian Summer Festival.
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About the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts
Located on 423 W. King St. at the crossroads of campus and community, the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at Appalachian State University engages visitors in dynamic and accessible exhibition, education, outreach and collection programs. These programs inspire and support a lifelong engagement with the visual arts and create opportunities for participants to learn more about themselves and the world around them. Learn more at https://tcva.appstate.edu/about/visit.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the Southeast, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls nearly 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.