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Gregg Museum Earns 2021 Gold Award from CASE District III/Southeast

The Gregg Museum of Art & Design and the Division of Academic and Student Affairs’ Marketing and Communications office received special recognition from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Screenshot of a virtual tour at the Gregg Museum

The project titled Gregg Museum Pivots to Virtual Exhibitions in time for COVID-19 won the top honor in the category of Advancement Services > Engagement on a Shoestring from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). 

The project by the Gregg Museum of Art & Design and NC State’s Division of Academic and Student Affairs’ Marketing and Communications office originated as a virtual reality presentation at the annual Packapalooza™ festival that provides students with an interactive experience during Wolfpack Welcome Week. The festival takes place on Hillsborough Street, and the goal was originally to provide virtual reality sneak peeks of the new museum in hopes that students would come and visit in person. 

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the virtual tour was repurposed and posted on the museum website by John Starbuck, marketing manager in the Division of Academic and Student Affairs’ Marketing and Communications office. The website tour was limited to just the lobby and gardens to encourage students and other patrons to visit in person. Fortunately, the original data file included high-resolution panoramic images of every art piece on display. By simply adding the art back into the building tour, Starbuck and Gregg Museum staff members Roger Manley, Evelyn McCauley and Mary Hauser produced individual self-guided tours for each exhibition.

“The collaboration between the Gregg and our office created an engaging tour for our students and patrons to experience the incredible exhibitions the museum produces. This is an excellent example of how technology has helped us experience some semblance of normalcy during the pandemic.” – Justin Hammond, Director, Marketing and Communications

The group decided they did not want to simply upload the entire space in one instance. They knew that for website visitors to fully appreciate the art, the tour had to be guided somehow, and the story had to be included. This was especially true for the museum’s first exhibition by Mary Ann Scherr. 

According to the exhibition, “50 years before Apple Watches and Fitbits became commonplace, Scherr broke new ground with her biomedical pieces, creating body monitors that aimed to improve health and save lives while remaining beautiful examples of functional jewelry. They still look ingenious and innovative today.” In an unpublished interview from 2015, Scherr reaffirmed that what kept her going was the process of discovery. “That’s what keeps me alive,” she said, “whole new ways of looking at something.”

Producing a virtual exhibition to honor Scherr’s legacy inspired NC State staff to push the boundaries, which earned them this recognition. Learn more about the award on the CASE website, and see the Gregg Museum website for the latest virtual tours of their exhibitions.