Joe Logan ’77 Brings Art to All

President Quillen, Joe Logan ’77, Vivian Beer

President Carol Quillen, Joe Logan ’77 and Artist Vivian Beer

Beer created the red bench “Machined Nature: Anchored Candy no. 9" that sits in a beautifully shaded spot between E.H. Little Library and Dormitory Row.

Joe Logan ’77 was not an art major, and he took only three art-related classes—an introduction to art history, a studio art printmaking course and a directing class for theatre.

He may not have realized it at the time, but his love for the arts was birthed at Davidson, amidst all his economics courses, and has been nurtured through involvement in the arts scene in Winston-Salem, N.C., where he has lived for many years.

“Visual art and theatre have become my primary fields of interest, so it grew from those first classes with Professors Larry Ligo and Doug Houchens,” Logan said. “I’ve been so pleased to see the emphasis on the arts grow at Davidson in recent years. The arts provide such an important part of the college experience, and it is great to see the commitment from faculty and from a resources standpoint.”

Logan has made a point not to only enjoy these improvements from afar. He has played a significant role in the growing emphasis across campus as a board member and chair for Davidson Arts and Creative Engagement and by supporting students through summer internships at the NC Arts Council, the Penland School of Craft and others. He also is an active member of the Arts Collection Advisory Committee, helping to build the college’s permanent art collection.

“I’ve always had my hand in a lot of things,” Logan said. “Being a collector of American contemporary art and fine craft, staying connected to Davidson in this way is a natural fit for me, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being around other art-loving alums.”

In 2018, Logan commissioned the college’s first sculpture with color, a red bench by Vivian Beer titled “Machined Nature: Anchored Candy no. 9" that sits in a beautifully shaded spot between E.H. Little Library and Dormitory Row. Beer created a special “Davidson red” for the piece.

Off campus, Logan has served on the state’s Arts Council Board and currently serves on the NC Arts Foundation Board as well as Appalachian State University’s Summer Festival Advisory Board. He ran a home furnishings trade association for many years, so art and design were always present on the career side of things, as well.

Logan’s influence on Davidson isn’t slowing down anytime soon. He recently set into motion a new program, modeled after one at Wake Forest University, that will send a group of students to New York City (or another agreed-upon location) to purchase artwork for Davidson’s collection. The idea is they will meet with gallerists, meet with artists in their studios and negotiate the purchase of pieces to bring back to campus.

“I learned about this program years ago and thought it was something Davidson should pursue,” Logan said. “It acquaints students with buying art and also connects them to the collection – it’s a unique connection many students may never have thought about before. I can imagine students coming back for their reunions and proudly taking their families to see the pieces they helped purchase years ago.”

The pilot program is in development now, and Logan is excited to see where it might lead.

“From my perspective, it’s a win-win on so many different fronts,” he said. “Students get new opportunities and have their eyes opened to a whole world of purchasing art, negotiating and learning how it’s done, and Davidson benefits from their experience with a greater collection of work for all to enjoy.”