by Adrian Greer

A visiting artist series is now a reality at the University of West Georgia thanks to the gracious gift of $50,000 from Michael and Andrea Stone.

Dr. Kyle Marrero, Michael Stone, Andrea Stone, Dr. Randy Hendricks
Left to right: Dr. Kyle Marrero, Michael Stone, Andrea Stone, Dr. Randy Hendricks

“I have been in the business world for 40 years, and I see a real need for the arts,” Michael Stone said. “The arts enrich us all, and it is an investment in the university and the community.”

That commitment to the arts is echoed by his wife, Andrea, who went on to earn a master’s degree in art education after completing her bachelor of fine arts at UWG and has worked as an art instructor for over 21 years.

“I believe that making an investment in children early on plants the seeds of a culture that understands the importance of a life of quality and experience that cannot be obtained from any other means,” Andrea Stone said. “It should be an essential life skill for all. Think about it, every design from furniture to clothing to buildings, to aircraft and bridges … began with a pencil to paper, began with an artist.”

The leadership at UWG is also very excited about the gift and the impact it will have.

“The Stones’ support of this art program brings opportunities to the curriculum that we would have never had,” President Kyle Marrero said. “Programs like these provide instructional moments that are unique for our students and often lead to great accomplishments.”

The Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities Randy Hendricks also believes that the gift will have a huge impact on the campus and community.

“This is a transformative gift for the opportunities it will create for us to have arts programming in perpetuity,” Dr. Hendricks said. “Michael and Andrea have been very generous with their time and, of course, with their purse.”

The Andrea and Michael Stone Visiting Artist Series will allow the university to contact artists from around the world and invite them to spend a week in Carrollton. During each visit, artists will present workshops and master classes for students and the community and present their work through public exhibitions, readings, screenings, or concerts – often with student support.

Posted on January 7, 2015