McEachern Art Center presents senior exhibition ‘Stairway Wit’


MACON – Mercer University’s McEachern Art Center (the MAC) will reopen the gallery for the first time in 2022 with Stairway Wit, the final fine art exhibition for Class of 2022 graduating Mercer University fine art and design students, running from April 22-May 7.

The title comes from the phrase “l’esprit de l’escalier,” loosely translated as “stairway wit.” This phrase means a perfect response comes just after its moment in a conversation. These are the realizations and thoughts one might have leaving a discussion on the way out the door, suddenly knowing the right thing to have said. 

“Now that they are taking a moment to pause and contemplate their experiences at the university, this group has come up with a strong showcase of ken and spirit as they depart,” noted MAC Director Ben Dunn. 

The title also refers to a signature Mercer tradition for many freshmen, the climb up the tower to the spire in the Godsey Administration Building. The artist statement for the show proclaims: “This exhibition is dedicated to the thoughts on the stairway back down and out in to the world. Some might bemoan stairway wit as too late. This group takes it to mean ‘just in time’ for the next step.” 

Another reason that this senior show is important, according to Dunn, is that this graduating class is the first to use the McEachern Art Center’s facility throughout its entire course of study at Mercer. This exhibition shows the value of the space, an art deco building the university restored and dedicated in 2019 in order to provide “a space to contemplate art with care.” 

An opening reception to coincide with BEAR Day will take place April 22 from 6-8 p.m., along with a closing reception during downtown Macon’s First Friday on May 6 from 4-8 p.m. 

The MAC is located at 332 2nd Street in Macon. Admission is free and open to the public during gallery hours, 4-8 p.m., Thursdays-Saturdays. Media and educators may access the gallery outside of normal hours by appointment.