IMG_7957 copyJ. Stacy Utley highlights an economic and political issue currently facing cities throughout the country.

Utley’s latest collection is inspired by Gentrification and currently on display in the African American Cultural Center Gallery in the Witherspoon Student Center. His collection is entitled “Any City, AMERICA,” it opened on Monday, Oct. 6.

Gentrification is illustrated in the pieces that make up Any City, AMERICA, through the placement of structural models in different urban settings.

Utley’s work is a exhibition of his background in both art and architecture.

“I hope people walk away with a better understanding of Gentrification,” said Utley.

Utley was introduced to Gentrification and its impact firsthand after begining his career as an architect after earning a B.A. in Architecture from the College of Design at N.C. State.

Utley said he began to see his job in development redesign differently, because the impact new projects would have on current residents.

Such as what happened to the people and where they would go became concerns of his and since he has wanted to spread awareness.

“I don’t see it ending anytime soon,” said Utley. “But I do see more noise being made about it.”

The artist and architect said the white miniature houses represent something new and are easily identifiable said Utley.

“I wanted something simple everyone could identify with,” said Utley. “It’s familiar and foreign at the same time.”

He said he left them white because it’s ambiguous, and foreshadows something new.

The center and the College of Design also hosted a lunch and learn event where guests discussed Gentrification and Utley’s start as an architect.

“We are really proud of what he’s done,” said Dr. Carol Love, former N.C. State associate dean and professor.

According to Love while in high school Utley won two of 7 UP’s art contests, the monetary winnings paid for his first year’s tuition cost at N.C. State.

In addition to his architecture degree from the College of Design, Utley has an an M.F.A. in Visual Arts from Lesley University, College of Art and Design (formerly the Art Institute of Boston) in Boston MA.

He has also earned a second B.A. in Environmental Design from the College of Design at North Carolina State University.

More about Utley, his latest collection and other works can be found at jstacyutley.comIMG_2048IMG_2050 IMG_2066 IMG_7943IMG_2045 2IMG_2051 2IMG_2060 2


“Any City AMERICA” on display in the African American Cultural Center Gallery


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