UM Museum Announces New Walton-Young House Art Installation

Local artists Rebekah Flake, Valerie Guinn Polgar, and Sarah Barch were selected to create custom art installations for the historic Walton-Young House, located next door to the University of Mississippi Museum.

The South Porch on the rear of the house mirrors nature— specifically the Bailey Woods Trail—in green. Photo provided.

The purpose of this installation is to animate the house and display the art of local artists, said Kate Wallace, communications coordinator for the UM museum. 

Flake and Polgar, together, incorporated their skills in photography, animation, and electronics to create four separate displays on each of the three porches and in the front bay windows.

“The Walton-Young House location, which sits at the intersection of town, nature, and University, serves as a beacon or ‘lighthouse’ that is a point of connection for the whole community,” Flake said.

Flake and Polgar’s pieces are themed after what can be seen if standing on each porch and looking out of the window frames, each with a representative color — red, green, or blue. The North Porch, on the front of the house, faces the town and is styled in blue with a picture of the Oxford Water Tower. The West Porch, facing the Brandt Memory House, reflects the University in red. The South Porch on the rear of the house mirrors nature— specifically the Bailey Woods Trail—in green.

The North Porch, on the front of the house, faces the town and is styled in blue with a picture of the Oxford Water Tower. Photo provided.

At night, the front bay windows light up with projections of the same themes — RGB. Third artists, Barch, created a Victorian quilt entitled, “Something to Keep Warm”, that celebrates and pays homage to women who stitched beauty into their homes while also keeping their loved ones warm.

“In putting this quilt on the outside of the Victorian-era Walton-Young House, I take what would normally be hidden inside such a house and place it outdoors, for everyone to see,” Barch said.

The quilt follows tradition and does not have a set pattern, but the pieces are carefully sewn together by the woman who created it.

“I hope that doing so makes visible not only the quilt as art, but also woman, and the creative energy that she often uses to (in many different ways) keep us all warm,” she said.

About the Walton-Young House: The Walton-Young Historic House is a registered Mississippi Landmark and a typical middle-class home of the Victorian era. Horace H. Walton, who owned a hardware store on the Oxford Square, built the house in 1880. Walton and his wife, Lydia Lewis Walton, lived in the house with their three children, Lewis, Victoria, and Horace, until his death in 1891. 

For more information, call 662-915-7073 or visit museum.olemiss.edu.


Press release courtesy of UM Museum intern Victoria Bobo

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