By Brandi Wylie ’24

Walker Antonio ’23 drew from his dreams and nightmares for his fifth art exhibition on display at Wofford College. It’s also a depiction of patience that Antonio had to learn as the college’s Whetsell Fellow.

“Behind Doors | Behind Eyes” will be on display through Feb. 24 in the Richardson Family Art Gallery. Antonio will give an artist talk at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 16. The event and exhibition are both free and open to the public.

Each year, the Whetsell Fellowship is given to a student-artist to provide funding for a personal project while receiving mentorship. 

Antonio worked under the mentorship of Dr. Youmi Efurd, Wofford’s museum curator, Michael Webster, assistant professor of art and studio art coordinator, and Oscar Soto, studio art manager.

When he was awarded the fellowship in the winter of 2021, he immediately knew what he wanted to be his muse: the vivid dreams and nightmares he had experienced and journaled about.

“Webster kept saying to me to slow down and sketch things out because I was just so ready to get painting,” says Antonio, a studio art and art history double major from Kilmarnock, Virginia.

Antonio worked on the art consistently from the time he was awarded the fellowship to approximately two days after the artwork was put on display.

As frustrating as the process was for Antonio to step back and pace himself, he said that the extra time and planning made it all worth it. He spent about 200 hours working on the seven pieces that made it to the final exhibition.

Antonio says the exhibition’s title represents both the notion of a dream occurring behind one’s eyes as well as the breakdown of a physical barrier.

“This exhibition breaks down barriers because it gives insight into a psychological state through physical art,” Antonio says.