Riding a ‘Positivity Wave’
A 15-foot wave is headed for the Quad.
By winning the Weller Memorial Sculpture Competition, Shammia McQuaig ’14 earned the opportunity to create Positivity Wave. The graceful arc of welded steel and natural fiber has been installed in front of Hege-Cox Hall and will crest toward the Quad until May 2015.
Shammia is a longtime artist who has dedicated herself to a sculpture major during the past year. She practices independently and in sculpture classes, focusing on welded-steel constructions.
Students who win the College’s Allen and Rachel Weller Competition are often working on larger, more permanent projects than they have before. Challenges of increased scale, outdoor durability, public safety and budget become formidable as a small model is rendered at monumental scale.
To get started Shammia solicited the help of prominent local sculptor Jim Gallucci. Jim and his crew of assistants worked with Shammia to bend heavy steel pipes into the smooth curves of Positivity Wave.
In addition to her outstanding artistic achievement, Shammia is the first Africana student to win the Weller Competition. This notable first occurs in a year when the Guilford community is celebrating and reflecting on 50 years of integration and black achievement.
In 1969 artist and educator James McMillan was hired to the Art Department as the College’s first black faculty member. Shammia’s accomplishment 44 years later reflects progress toward our Core Values of integrity, equality and diversity.
James and many other important firsts were honored at Guilford’s Journeys in Blackness Banquet on May 3. Shammia was awarded a medal in recognition of her achievement.
Her talents and dedication also have earned her a place in the selective Senior Thesis program for the upcoming academic year.