A generous alumnus is giving Pearl River students cultural opportunities.
PRCC alumnus Craig Griffing recently donated an Andy Warhol print entitled Committee 2000 to be displayed in the Ethel Holden Brownstone Center for the Arts on PRCC’s Poplarville campus. The color print is signed in pencil and is 1,675 of only 2,000 printed.
Griffing graduated from Pearl River in 1977 before continuing his education and entering the medical field. He started his art collection more than 30 years ago due to an interest in history and art.
This is not Griffing’s first art donation to the college. In February, he also donated works by Rembrandt Van Rijn, Robert Indiana, Pablo Picasso and George Ohr.
“I’ve been an art collector over 30 years and I’m at the stage of life where I want to share it and introduce younger generations to art and that’s why I made the original donation earlier this year and why I’m doing this now,” Griffing said. “Instead of people from South Mississippi having to go to expensive museums in big cities and pay big fees to see fine art, I’d like them to walk in free of charge and see it here in the field of art work. I think it should be a major part of any college student’s education to know the basics to know who these artists are. Hopefully that will spark an interest in some of the current and future students here.”
Griffing said his positive memories of Pearl River and strong ties to the college made PRCC the right place to house his donations.
“I fully enjoyed my two years here,” Griffing said. “Seeing all the improvements to the institution since I've been here, I want to continue to contribute to that. I want to introduce people of South Mississippi, especially at this college, what fine art truly is and not have to read it out of a book but see it in person and make that strong impression.”
Griffing met with Executive Director of Development Foundation/Alumni Association Ernie Lovell and Department Chair/Director of Brownstone Performing Arts Center Dr. Trevor Hunt to consider display options in the Brownstone Center.
“We are excited to add this Warhol to PRCC’s permanent collection of art and very appreciative of Mr. Griffing's generosity and vision to share the visual arts with the community,” Hunt said. “Committee 2000 along with other works donated by Mr. Griffing, will be housed in the Ethel Holden Brownstone Center for all to see.””
Lovell understands the importance of these donations and the chance they give students and the public alike to experience fine art so close to home. He hopes that this generosity will inspire others.
“We are very appreciative of Craig and we are very excited about the opportunity this affords the students and the public to see great art and great items from our fine arts programs,” Executive Director of Development Foundation/Alumni Association Ernet Lovell Jr. said. “This will be long lasting and also generate the opportunity for people to continue to help it grow and give more.”
Those interested in donating to Pearl River can call 601-403-1193 or email email@example.com.