All Systems Are Go!

Posted in Hillsborough St., NC State University, The Arts on September 14th, 2010 by Karl – 6 Comments

NC State University's celebrated Color Wall beams in brilliant luminescence from the D.H. Hill Library.

After a test run last week, Joe Cox’s masterpiece, “Color Wall,” is ready for it’s formal relighting on Sept. 25. Following months of diligent fundraising, the Hillsborough St. landmark underwent an extensive restoration over the summer. The centerpiece of the project was the installation of a Smartswtch digital light sequencing controller. It has been programmed with Cox’s original 1972 design for the Color Wall. On Thursday night the restored system was tested for the first time. By all accounts the test was a success.
read more »

Success! Color Wall Re-Lighting Set for September 25th

Posted in Hillsborough St., NC State University, The Arts on June 18th, 2010 by Karl – 10 Comments

Watch this space -- it will be filled with color in a public event scheduled for Sept. 25th.

We are happy to announce that after a year of diligent fundraising, the celebrated Joe Cox Color Wall will soon be put in working order again — this time permanently. Through the generous gifts of our many Color Wall friends, in excess of the $10,000 needed to purchase the SmartSwitch digital controller has been raised online and deposited in the Color Wall Restoration Fund maintained by NCSU Friends of the Library. AND, more than $13,000 was realized through the gallery sale of five of the 11 Joe Cox paintings generously donated to our campaign by Joe’s niece, Janice McAninch.    

One of the paintings which was sold in the gallery show at Lee Hansley Gallery in March.

The SmartSwitch controller was delivered today, and installation of the new system by Stageworks Lighting of Raleigh is expected to begin next week. We will keep you posted on the progress of the work throughout the summer.     

The original lighting sequence designed by Cox will be faithfully replicated and programmed into the new computer.

The Color Wall will be re-illuminated at a public event during the official reopening and dedication of Hillsborough Street celebration on Sept. 25. So please stay tuned for details!    


NCSU Friends of the Library, together with the Color Wall Restoration Project Committee, has established an endowment which will ensure the maintenance of the Color Wall for generations to come. Donations are still being gratefully accepted.

Joe Cox paintings to remain on exhibit through April 17

Posted in Uncategorized on April 1st, 2010 by Karl – 14 Comments

"Study for Color Wall" (Photo by Dave Delcambre)

We are very happy to share these gallery photos of selected works in the Joe Cox Exhibiton sent to us by Dave Delcambre, College of Design graduate and supporter of the Color Wall restoration project. Dave has also written an in-depth review of the exhibition, which is published on his blogsite, ‘nc art blog’read more »

Color Wall benefit exhibition of Joe Cox paintings a resounding success

Posted in Uncategorized on March 12th, 2010 by Karl – 10 Comments

Two of the Joe Cox paintings currently being shown at the Lee Hansley Gallery Too on Glenwood Ave. in Raleigh. (Photo by John Morris, Goodnight Raleigh)


Melodious strains from a jazz piano filled the air Sunday as visitors meandered through the Lee Hansley Gallery Too on Glenwood Ave. in Raleigh. A collection of 18 Joe Cox paintings and works on paper attracted a crowd of 150 to the afternoon opening reception. Nine of the works were donated by Joe Cox’s niece, Janice McAninch and her husband Skip, as a gift to help fund the restoration of Cox’s celebrated light mural, Color Wall.  

Jazz selections on the piano enhanced the ambience of the gallery reception. (Photo by John Morris, Goodnight Raleigh)


read more »

Sale of Joe Cox paintings set for March 7

Posted in Uncategorized on February 16th, 2010 by Karl – 16 Comments

Mountain Series (1990; acrylic on canvas)

Nine paintings by the late Joe Cox, a long-time North Carolina State University College of Design professor who created a kinetic light sculpture at N.C. State’s D.H. Hill Library known as the Color Wall, will be sold as part of an effort to raise money to restore this unique work of public art.
The paintings, which were donated to the Color Wall restoration effort by Cox’s niece, Janice McAninch, and her husband, Skip, of Sante Fe, New Mexico, will be on display beginning Sunday March 7, at the Lee Hansley Gallery, 126 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh. A reception to kick off the exhibition is scheduled from 2-5 p.m. March 7 at the gallery.

 The paintings will remain on display through April 17.

Overlapping Washes

New Year’s Update

Posted in Uncategorized on January 3rd, 2010 by Karl – 14 Comments

Dear Color Wall Friends,

Happy New Year! And all the best for 2010! In the past six months we have made great progress toward restoring the Joe Cox Color Wall in the DH Hill Library at NC State. Since June we have raised just over $4,000 in online donations towards the purchase the new digital Smart Switch controller. Thanks to those of you who have already made your gift!!! Your support is greatly appreciated.

In the next few weeks we will be sending a mailing to more than 100 potential donors to raise additional dollars to reach our goal of purchasing the new switching system and creating a maintenance fund to keep the Color Wall perpetually operating for generations to come.

The most exciting news for this project is a donation of 8 – 10 original Joe Cox paintings gifted by his niece Janice McAninch and her husband Skip. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this body of work will go directly toward the Color Wall restoration. Lee Hansley Gallery in Raleigh has generously offered its space at 126 Glenwood Ave for a reception and sale. The tentative date for the sale is the end of February or early March. We will share more details with you about this event later this month.

As we draw closer to the sale date, we will post images of the Joe Cox paintings that will be offered to the public.

So, stayed tuned!

Yes! 2010 will be the year the Color Wall gets switched back on and stays on!

Fund Raising Update

Posted in Uncategorized on November 25th, 2009 by Karl – 23 Comments

Murals_p1_3 Light Mural_cropped_lo res

Here’s the latest news from the Color Wall restoration front:

Since June, $3,960 has been donated toward the estimated $6,125 needed to install the computerized “Smart-Switch Relay System” which will operate the bank of lights. The new system is completely digital, so once it is installed, the problems inherent in a mechanically operated controller will be a thing of the past.

We have asked our supplier, Stageworks Lighting of Raleigh, for an updated quote for the project, and will release that information when it is available.

In the meantime, we have been pursuing additional avenues that will ensure continued financial support for the operation of the Color Wall in the future. Among these is a possible auction of original Joe Cox paintings which have been gifted to the restoration effort by a generous benefactor. We hope to have the auction in the early spring, and will make a formal announcement once the plans are finalized.

This past summer, a cache of slides depicting the Color Wall was discovered in the State Archives downtown, where the Joe Cox Papers are housed. The find is significant because the slides date from the early 1970s, and were presumably taken by Joe himself. Moreover, the images show people passing in front of the light mural thereby becoming a part of the scuplture itself, as Joe intended. We have reproduced some of these historic images here.

Thanks to everyone who has made a donation to the restoration of the Joe Cox Color Wall. Your generosity is appreciated!

Murals_p1_2 Light Mural_cropped_lo res

Murals_p1_6 Light Mural_cropped_lo res

Murals_p1_4 Light Mural_cropped_lo res

Colors, and colors, and colors

Posted in Uncategorized on August 4th, 2009 by Karl – 25 Comments

This Color Wall video was created Ginny Skalski, managing editor of the Raleigh blog, 30Threads. The music is “Colours,” by Hot Chip.

Welcome to the Color Wall Restoration Fund Web site!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 12th, 2009 by Karl – 16 Comments

Goodnight, Raleigh! first reported on N.C. State University’s kinetic light sculpture, Color Wall, in May 2009. The Color Wall has intrigued and bedazzled passersby on Hillsborough St. for more than three decades. But, after years of  on again, off again repair, the  wall of  color and light has gone dark. Our challenge now is to raise funds for the permanent restoration of this unique and dynamic work of public art. You can learn about Color Wall, it’s proposed restoration, and its creator, Joe Cox, in the informational segments posted here.

  • If you wish to support the Joe Cox Color Wall restoration project please click here.
  • Complete the online donation form, selecting “Library Art Preservation Fund” from the drop down menu under “In Support of an existing endowment or fund:” section.
  • Under the “Comments” section, please note that the gift is designated for the “Joe Cox Color Wall”.

Please visit us again. will keep you up to date on the progress on the restoration campaign and will provide additional information on the Color Wall in future posts.

Thank you for your support!