With the Carrollton GreenBelt in view, the University of West Georgia recently unveiled the permanent home for an art collection that celebrates the beauty of the GreenBelt and the opportunity for community-building it represents.
UWG’s Ingram Library is now home to “More than a Trail: Exploring the GreenBelt,” a 52-piece collection of paintings and drawings by artist Greg Crimmins that captures the flora and fauna of the 18-mile biking, running and walking trail.
In his remarks during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday evening, UWG President Dr. Brendan B. Kelly drew synergistic comparisons among the GreenBelt, the art collection and Ingram Library.
“The GreenBelt nurtures the sense of wellness in our community and serves as an intersection point for us to gather,” Kelly said. “The same can be said for our library and this collection of art which we will proudly display for years to come. They all bring people together so we can have a better understanding of the world around us, and we are thrilled to have this permanent reminder on our campus of how truly interwoven we are with our community.”
Laura Richards, founder and chair of the Friends of Carrollton GreenBelt, spoke during the ceremony, highlighting the interwovenness Kelly referenced.
“UWG led the University System of Georgia in having the state’s first campus trail, and for several years now, anthropology students have conducted surveys on the GreenBelt so we can compare our trail with others like the Atlanta BeltLine,” Richards said. “Those surveys have shown the positive mental health impact of socializing on the GreenBelt because of the shoulder-to-shoulder connections that can be made on the trail. Thank you, University of West Georgia, for giving this inspiring exhibit a home.”
Richards also referenced UWG’s bronze-level status as a Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists, as well as the city of Carrollton’s bronze-level status as a Bicycle Friendly Community, both of which were recertified in 2021.
Crimmins created the 52 art pieces after walking and biking the GreenBelt in its entirety numerous times and taking more than 1,100 reference photos of the plants, animals, insects and landscapes he encountered. Crimmins said he and his mother would bike or walk the trail every Sunday, a tradition that became a defining feature of their relationship.
“For that reason, this series is close to my heart, and being able to represent something that’s so close to me is an incredible feeling,” Crimmins said. “I was inspired to create these pieces so that people who are unable to enjoy the entire 18-mile loop in one trip would be able to come to one place and get a feel for what they would have seen. I’m so grateful it’s here at the University of West Georgia, where people can enjoy and be inspired by it for years to come.”
To view the collection, visit the second floor of Ingram Library by entering through Starbucks. For wayfinding, UWG’s interactive campus map is available.