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Simmons gallery gets an update
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Visitors to the Simmons Visual Arts Gallery at Brenau University will see a change has happened since the fall semester.

The carpet’s gone — and not the carpet on the floor, but the carpet on the walls.

Gallery Director Vanessa Grubbs said she was able to secure some funding to remove the carpet from the walls, which was installed in 1993. During the Gainesville school’s winter break, she said, construction crews ripped out the carpet, sheetrocked the walls and painted a fresh coat of off-white paint in the entrance hallway and gallery space.

"It was deteriorating," she said of the wall carpeting. "One of the things about our building, it was heated by coal and we have fireplaces throughout it. So, over the course of time we started getting these dirt lines from the coal coming out."

The lines are still visible in staff offices, which were not part of the renovation, Grubbs said, because "you want to use your finances for what’s most important."

Because the carpet was starting to buckle in places, too, it was starting to hinder the shows the gallery planned. And the new wall color creates a warm, neutral palette for contemporary art shows such as the Liliana Porter exhibit, which opens Tuesday.

"It was a really nice update, and it’s really changed the feel of the space," she said, adding that the neutral walls, which were chosen to match the off-white ceiling, also reflect the historic feel of the space, too.

Upon entering the building, visitors walk onto a floor, installed in 1918, of decorative orange and green tiles. The gallery, which is next door to Pearce Auditorium, is one of the older buildings on campus.

"I’m happy we did (go with off-white instead of stark white) because it keeps that historic feel," Grubbs said. "I think it showcases very nicely the artwork we have."

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