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Walter Shroyer beside a plaque that reads "Walter T. Shroyer Art Gallery, Professor of Art & Design, 1991 to 2022".

Bluefield University Dedicates Art Gallery to Professor Emeritus Walter Shroyer

by | Mar 21, 2024

Bluefield University eagerly unveiled the Walter T. Shroyer Art Gallery on Wednesday, March 6. Shroyer, a former art and design professor at BU, established the previously unnamed gallery on the first floor of Lansdell Hall and served as its first Gallery Director.

“I’m overwhelmed by all my friends that are here and of course by the college in doing this,” Shroyer said at the dedication ceremony, “and I know there are some people that were behind this, so I want to thank them.”

He shared that the art department had various supporters throughout his tenure, including graphic communication professor Allen Roberts, former president Dr. David Olive, and former provost Dr. Marshall Flowers.

Shroyer began serving as a Bluefield University professor in 1991. At that time, BU offered a fine arts degree that combined music, theatre, and art. Shroyer was instrumental in developing art as an independent major and played a significant role in starting the graphic communication program. Upon his retirement in 2022, Shroyer was named professor emeritus.

When he first proposed the idea for an on-campus art gallery, Shroyer imagined artwork on display in the dining area of Shott Hall using freestanding walls. He recounted the moment Greg Sink, BU’s former Director of Alumni and Church Relations, presented the idea to establish the gallery in Lansdell Hall:

“‘These are concrete walls!’ I said. ‘You can’t hammer into this because it’ll just chip and fall apart. You’d have to repair them every time you hung a show,’ and he said, ‘Well, hang them off the old coat racks!’” Shroyer explained.

Proving to be a nice arrangement, the gallery has presented four to six shows per academic year and an estimated 80 in total, according to Professor Shroyer. Bluefield University has hosted work by its own students, regional artists, members of the Blacksburg Regional Art Association, affiliates of the Appalachian College Association, and graduates of Radford University’s master of fine arts programs.

“We’ve had some great shows here. That’s for sure,” Shroyer said.

The Walter T. Shroyer Art Gallery, now under the direction of Allen Roberts, currently showcases photographs and digital illustrations by BU students. The next show, scheduled for April 2024, will feature pieces by a Concord University alum.

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