Home Carrollton UWG art program unveils wolf statues for Carrollton Chick-fil-A, Carroll County Schools

UWG art program unveils wolf statues for Carrollton Chick-fil-A, Carroll County Schools

Simultaneously, students in Barker’s class collaborated with students from Carroll County Schools to create a wolf that is now installed at the school district’s Performing Arts Center. From left to right: Brandy Barker, UWG faculty and executive director for creative services; Ryan Lamfers, UWG senior lecturer of art: sculpture and foundations; Vanessa Benefield, student; Dr. Brendan Kelly, UWG president; Scott Cowart, Carroll County Schools superintendent; Brianna Henry, student; Bryant Turner, Board of Education chairman; Charity Aaron, CCS director of partnerships and communication; and Lawana Knight, BOE member.

When University of West Georgia student Reese Scott reports to work at Carrollton’s Chick-fil-A (CFA) on South Park Street, she is greeted by a cow-print wolf – a union of two brands and tangible evidence of the far-reaching impact partnerships can have on a community.

Scott was part of a four-person, student-led team of artists who saw the CFA Wolf from concept to creation as an assignment in faculty member Brandy Barker’s Art as Business class. Simultaneously, students in Barker’s class collaborated with students from Carroll County Schools (CCS) to create a wolf that is now installed at the school district’s Performing Arts Center.

“A lot of artists have wonderful ideas and are very talented but lack the experience of working with a client and project management skills,” said Barker, who also serves as UWG’s executive director for creative services. “These students working on this project from start to finish gives them a complete picture of what it’ll be like to work for a client as an arts entrepreneur.”

Two different designs were proposed as they worked through the process of getting those presentation-ready to show campus and community leaders, such as UWG President Dr. Brendan Kelly and Carrollton Chick-fil-A owner/operator David Daniels.

Daniels said any opportunity to partner with UWG is always exciting.

“Dr. Kelly and his team have done a fantastic job of connecting with community leaders and businesses,” he added. “I greatly appreciate the intentionality around building relationships in the local community as we look to support each other here in West Georgia. This wolf is a great symbol of UWG’s excellence partnered with the strong brand that I love dearly, Chick-fil-A. I’m honored to have this on our property and honored to have so many students from UWG on my teams. We look forward to the continued relationship in the coming years. In the meantime, Go West and eat more chicken!”

The students, Kelly and Barker were joined by a group of community members and staff from Chick-fil-A, Carroll County Schools and UWG to officially cut the ribbon on the new wolves earlier this week.

A marketing major, Scott was in her element at approaching the project from a business perspective. 

“With something as public as CFA and UWG, it was interesting to look at the steps we went through on both the artistic and business sides,” shared Scott, a Newnan native. “It demonstrated how these projects are prepared and how art is cultivated in the real world as far as deadlines and actual applications. I’m a big believer in not just teaching definitions and theories but actually going out and doing the projects. This class has let me shine in those aspects. There are so many opportunities I wouldn’t have received if not for this class.”

Barker said that’s par for the course when it comes to being a first-choice university – designing distinctive, world-class experiences both inside and outside the classroom that launch or advance each students’ career before graduation. For students in this project, that meant understanding there was a loose timeline, an ideal deadline, and many steps along the way that required flexibility.

“The importance of being able to receive feedback – while not taking it personally – and working that information into your design cannot be understated,” Barker explained. “These statues incorporate our brand and our presence in iconic places around the community where thousands of people are going every day, knowing there’s a collaborative effort between the community and our institution.”

Another symbolic wolf statue revealed the same day as the CFA piece now lives at the Carroll County Schools (CCS) Performing Arts Center. This project, in a joint effort of young artists, was designed and painted by a group of CCS students who worked alongside UWG students throughout the process. Superintendent Scott Cowart said it was a dynamic representation of the partnership between the two educational powerhouses.

“Our collaboration has grown into a relationship that builds lifelong learners in our community,” Cowart said. “From our youngest students through high school, from student teachers to our teachers and administrators with graduate degrees, from our students performing at UWG and their students performing at our performing arts center, we have yet to find an end to what we can accomplish working together. Our students have done a remarkable job putting the Carroll County stamp on a West Georgia wolf, and we are proud to showcase our vibrant partnership in this new and artistically visual way.”

Art major and UWG social media ambassador Ilona Kish, a sophomore from Austell, explained how the projects are instrumental in fostering students’ growth as artists.

“I’ve learned so much more from this experience that a normal assignment wouldn’t have been able to teach me – how to present ideas professionally, how to set up a timeline and how to adjust and adapt easily,” she concluded. “There is nothing more beneficial to an artist than working with real-world clients.”

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Originally from East Tennessee, Julie Lineback joined the University of West Georgia in August 2006. Her career started in 2000, after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. While serving as a communications specialist at Oak Ridge Associated Universities, she received an Award of Quality from the Public Relations Society of America, the world’s largest public relations organization, for her work on a catalog. She also worked as a website editor, copywriter and search engine specialist for BellSouth, where she was a certified Google AdWords Professional. Most recently, she received the UWG School of Communication, Film, and Media's Distinguished Service Award for 2023.