The “new McIver Building” was planned as a classroom space, but it was primarily meant to house the Art Department. In 1967, a wing was added to expand the department and to create the Weatherspoon Gallery. A kiln was constructed behind the building in 1966.
|McIver Building Dedication, October, 1960|
The art installation on the western facade was also controversial. Architect J. N. Pease commissioned Joseph Cox (1915-1997), a professor at the North Carolina State University School of Design in Raleigh, to create a large “mural,” which would be featured above the western entrance of the building. Cox was a native of Indianapolis, Illinois, earning his B.F.A. from the John Herron Art School and his M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. He began working on large projects in his early twenties, including a commission sponsored by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to paint murals for post offices in Indiana and Michigan. In 1954, Cox took a position at the School of Design, and he taught there for twenty years, also fulfilling commissions for his art throughout the state. His interest focused on the use of interesting and diverse material, and capturing the light and shadow seen in nature.
|"Mural" Created by Joseph Cox|
Cox’s continued interest in light and shadow can be seen in his “Color Wall,” which was created in the early 1970s for the D. H Hill Library at NC State University. This kinetic sculpture was designed to display constantly changing vertical patterns of color when lighted by twenty-three spotlights. Although the Color Wall remains a part of the Hill Library, other of the artist’s art installations no longer exist. It is likely that the mural on the facade of the McIver Building will suffer the same fate, and be disassembled as part of the demolition of the structure, which will take place next year.