January 2023 marks the 60th anniversary of integration at Clemson University. With celebrations happening across campus, the School of Architecture is excited to announce “Legacy: Celebrating the Impact of Harvey Gantt,” a celebration of Harvey Gantt’s enrollment into the Architecture program in 1963, when he became the first African American student to attend Clemson after the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the University to admit him.
“We hope that all who view this exhibition come away with a greater understanding of the legacy and impact that Harvey Gantt has had since attending the university and are inspired by his work to fight for greater change,” said Seth Moore, cNOMAS co-vice president and architecture major.
Celebration through art
The ”Legacy: Celebrating the Impact of Harvey Gantt” celebration is scheduled to take place beginning on Friday, January 27, with events and installations occurring throughout Lee Hall until Tuesday, February 14, with a soft opening of the art exhibition on Monday, January 16.
The “Legacy” event officially kicks off on Friday, January 27 at 5:00 p.m. Artists, students and faculty will host an art exhibition in Lee Gallery, with works chosen for a juried show, a visual timeline entitled “Sorry, this is not for you,” documenting the historical circumstances and significant events that occurred in and around Clemson related to integration and an interactive collaboration with Professor Rhondda Thomas’ “Call My Name” research project called “The Megaphone.”
Cecil William, famed photographer, publisher, author and inventor known for documenting the civil rights movement in South Carolina, will be in attendance as the guest of honor. Photographs taken by William will serve as a backdrop to the works displayed in Lee Gallery.
Edgar Alatorre, a School of Architecture graduate student, shared, “Although we cannot change the hardships of the past, we can remember the pioneers who came before us and the sacrifices they made to give us all a better tomorrow. Through his vision of integration and equality, Harvey Gantt was able to enact social change at Clemson University and later on in his political career. It is because of his persistent fight for equality that we are honored to celebrate his life and legacy through this exhibition.”
The School of Architecture will continue to celebrate this historic celebration with a series of speakers in January and February:
- January 27, Lee 111, 5 p.m.: Legacy: Celebrating the Impact of Harvey Gantt Reception
- January 30, Lee 111, 5 p.m.: Speaker Sekou Cooke: Sekou Cooke is an architect, urban designer, researcher and curator. Born in Jamaica and based in Charlotte, North Carolina, he is the director of the Master of Urban Design program at UNC Charlotte, the 2021/2022 Nasir Jones HipHop Fellow at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University and a founding member of the Black Reconstruction Collective. Cooke is a leading advocate for the study and practice of Hip-Hop Architecture, which addresses the broad impacts of the racist history of architecture and urban planning, opening a pathway for practice, education, and scholarship that embraces architecture as a tool for shaping, reflecting and understanding culture.
- February 1, Lee 111, 5 p.m.: “Architects as Advocates.” Speaker Julian Owens; Owens focused on community-designed and built projects while studying at Clemson University, where he received his B.A. in Architecture and Master of Architecture degrees. He co-founded the university’s chapter of NOMAS and has since been heavily involved in NOMA on the national level. He served as one of two National Student Representatives from 2016 to 2018 and the Executive Secretary from 2019 to 2021 and currently serves as the Parliamentarian on the National Executive Board. His passion for community impact continues to grow through his involvement in NOMA. In 2020, Julian founded Pledge of Excellence Inc, a nonprofit organization that seeks to acknowledge and amplify the overlooked, pre-existing excellence that lives in marginalized communities. Through the organization, Julian contributes his skillset to the mission, in hopes to inspire current and future generations in his community. Julian holds a position as an architectural designer at Jacobs.
- February 3, Lee 111, 5 p.m.: “Integration and Inclusion through the Decades,” a short presentation by Mario Gooden and a panel discussion with School of Architecture alumni representing the decades since Harvey Gantt. Mario Gooden ‘90 MArch is Professor of Professional Practice, Interim Director of the MArch Program, Sequence Director for Advanced Architecture Studios, and Co-Director of the Global Africa Lab at Columbia University GSAPP, an innovative research initiative that explores the spatial topologies of the African continent and its diaspora. Gooden is also the Director of Mario Gooden Studio: Architecture + Design, a transdisciplinary practice dedicated to the design and exploration of architecture and its relationships to culture and knowledge. His practice merges architectural design with landscape, urbanism, history, cultural production and performance. Gooden graduated magna cum laude from Clemson University in 1987 with a B.S. in Design and received a Masters of Architecture degree from Columbia University in 1990 and is a recipient of the McKim Prize.
- Ray Huff, FAIA, Clemson BArch 1971
- Danita Brown, AIA, Clemson BS in Design 1983 & MArch 1987
- Michael Allen, Architect, Clemson BS in Design 1999
- Julian Owens, AIA, NOMA, Clemson BA in Architecture 2016 & MArch 2018
- Adrianna Spence, Clemson BA in Architecture 2020 & MArch 2022
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