A newly renovated photography building is expected to open September as part of a series of changes the Art and Design Center will undergo, said the Art Department chair.
The new photography building, formerly used for woodshop and industrial design, is part of an eastside proposal created in an effort to build an appreciation for the arts and strengthen department unity, said David Moon, Art Department chair. The proposal was submitted by Moon. Mark Jury, art professor, also helped Moon on the project.
“We want people to know art and enjoy it,” Moon said. “Art on this campus is underrated and unappreciated.”
A brick path composed of the names of individuals who have made contributions to the Art Department will also be added to the new building site. Moon said the new design path would be safer for disabled students who use wheelchairs.
The eastside proposal was funded by donors and money allocated by Academic Resources and Planning Department. It is estimated to cost $700,000 once completed, Moon said.
The new building is the final piece that could bring the department and students together, said Edward Alfano, professor and associate chair of the Art Department.
For Alfano, the new photography building is long overdue.
“Student demands are changing,” Alfano said. “We’re trying to address student needs and prepare them for the future requirements of the job force.”
Staff members agree about the necessity of the new building this fall.
“I think (the photography building) looks great,” said Michelle Giacopuzzi, exhibitions coordinator of the Art Department. “It allows us to get rid of the temporary trailers we’ve been using.”
Photography studios are currently located in basements in the four science buildings.
Moon said the new photography building would include small lecture rooms and a 3-D computer lab. In addition to digital imaging, students will be able to create work similar to the new Disney film “Cars” and painters would be able to scan their artwork. Students will also have the capability to have their worked checked in the lab.
“People will drool over our equipment,” Moon said, of the Apple dual core Power Mac G5 computers that will be installed. “Our facility will be second to none.”
Approvals of two other proposals for the north and west side of the Art and Design Center are still pending, Moon said.
All three proposals were created out of need to provide art students with a better connection to their major by increasing utility, Moon said.
The north side proposal consists of a two-story structure that would include two-single bedroom apartments to accommodate visiting artists and professors. Studio space for graduate students and guest artists would also be available.
Moon said he would like to have an outdoor lecture space for use during the spring semester.
Changes to the west side proposal are mainly external, such as painting walls and doors of the Art and Design Center and planting trees for shade since the building does not have outdoor hallways, he said.
Moon said he is attempting to acquire funding for the north and west side proposals.
Once renovations are completed, Alfano would like to see the Art and Design Center active during the weekends.
“People will be able to view art and create art,” Alfano said. “They’ll be able to see artists much like a small art community.”