All Together Now
Campus artists share a splendid new home
What do you give the Art Department for its 50th anniversary?
Answer: A handsome, state-of-the-art building to inspire creativity.
Faculty and students in painting, printmaking, sculpture, and ceramics—programs once scattered in several locations—are enjoying their first year in brand new quarters especially designed for their needs.
The $26.5 million, 47,00-square-foot Studio Arts Building stands sentinel on the east side of North Pleasant Street, across from the Fine Arts Center. Designed by the Gund Partnership of Cambridge, Mass., the V-shaped building combines traditional and contemporary elements, features sustainable materials natural ventilation, and provides spaces flooded with natural light.
The building’s two wings boast impressive facilities including fully equipped, flexibly designed teaching studios, individual and group studios, a central location for photography, a high-end digital and computer graphics studio, lecture rooms, and ample space for presentations and reviews of student projects.
Its centerpiece, a dramatic glass atrium, serves as the building’s main entrance, an attractive informal gathering space for faculty and students, and a venue for special events such as art shows and guest lectures. It’s also home to the colorful sculpture “Leaves, Sky, Water,” the creation and gift of world-renowned artist Shan Shan Sheng ’87G, presented at the gala opening in September 2008 to mark the new era in studio arts on campus.
And what do students think of their new facility? Ceramics major Liz Swindell ’11 helped set up the ceramics room. She loves the pleasant surroundings and the new time-saving equipment but most of all she’s excited about what the building makes happen inside—and outside when the weather is fine: “It’s the combining of people from different concentrations. Up till now I haven’t had contact with artists in other disciplines. There will be a lot of creative energy swimming around in there, the chance for discussions and to bounce ideas off one another.”