Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC

Last week I visited the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary on the former campus of Wake Forest University, which moved to Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 1956.  

I've lived in Wake Forest for six years but have never visited the campus. It's located in the center of a network of busy streets and doesn't have an obvious or welcoming entrance that many college campuses have today. I was also somewhat unsure whether outsiders were welcome on a seminary campus or if we would disrupt the spiritual equilibrium I imagined existed within.

Nevertheless, late one afternoon last week, on an unseasonably warm winter day, my son and I decided to check it out. The main campus quadrangle is a beautiful 25-acre space with towering cedars, oaks, and magnolias, and meandering paths which connect several historic Colonial Revival buildings. At the center of the green, there is a lovely polygonal gazebo which shelters an urn-shaped fountain and stands in delicate contrast to the imposing brick halls that line the perimeter.

The sun was low and cast a lovely warm light on the giant trees and buildings. My son noted that the air smelled so fresh; it was cool and vegetal from all of the ancient trees within the grounds. I took some pictures to use as reference photos for paintings as he ran along the paths, which were oddly deserted given the time of day. In fact, we only saw a handful of people on the quad in the half-hour we were there. 

It was a memorable day and I hope to return soon, maybe with my plein air easel to do some painting next time. These two paintings were done in the studio after our visit.

"Dana Jordan Fountain" 5x7 oil on linen panel

"Magnolia Grove" 8x10 oil on linen panel

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