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Fine Arts Department and City of Rock Hill Team Up for City Artwork

Quick Facts

 The project is made possible through a $30,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts grant.
 Professor of Fine Arts Shaun Cassidy will incorporate the project into a spring 2016 course.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA — All across the city of Rock Hill, from Earth Fare to the new Family Trust Credit Union building downtown, residents and visitors alike can enjoy beautiful permanent artwork created by Winthrop University students.

Another Winthrop artwork addition is on its way, thanks to a request from the city and a $30,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. A newly planned traffic circle at Constitution Boulevard and Columbia Avenue will be the host site for whatever new pieces are created.

Professor of Fine Arts Shaun Cassidy
will incorporate the project into a spring 2016 course, Special Topics in Public Art. In the class, students will conduct research and design ideas for the traffic circle before making a series of proposals to the city. A proposal will then be selected for fabrication. If possible, the students will have the chance of building whichever proposal next fall.

“That’s one thing we have been working toward is trying to create a kind of level of density of artworks not only on the campus, but in the community,” Cassidy said. He pointed to other Rock Hill-Winthrop artwork projects from the past, including the downtown sculpture park and the Family Trust building, among others.

“There’s a certain amount of momentum that’s been built over the past five years,” he went on. “It really started with installing work on the Winthrop campus. We kind of get used to it now because they’ve been around for awhile, but those all paved the way for this example of artwork being placed and built into an urban environment.”

He called the project a very valuable experience for students because it reflects the rigor of the creative process they’ll encounter outside of the classroom, such as handling deadlines, crafting proposals, exhibiting professionalism and, more importantly, meeting the challenging parameters of a project.

“Students are going to have to be creative and innovative in how they respond to the challenges of the site,” Cassidy said.

For more information, contact Nicole Chisari at or 803/323-2236.

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