Art equipment, classes move to Research Operations Center West while new gallery currently under construction at Synergy Park North 2

1 month ago
Valerie Perez
Mercury Staff

After the demolition of the Art Barn, students were concerned about the existence and location of the printmaking and sculpture classes. Art students need the university to continue to offer these two classes in order to complete their graduation plan.

Classes have been relocated to Research and Operations Center West and Synergy Park North 2. The old art equipment also was saved and then relocated to ROC West.


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Arts and performances senior, Victoria Brill, said she is content with the two relocations and relieved that no classes will be missed for the upcoming year.

“It’s relieving knowing that we at least get the basics of what we had before, but the only upsetting part is that it is splitting us up,” she said. “We had our station in the middle of campus, but now we’re spread apart. I think that’s what bothers most people, we basically got kicked off campus and won’t be able to collaborate our artwork.”

Dennis Kratz, dean of arts and humanities, said he agrees with Brill that the two relocations cause a loss in community for art students, but hopes the university will make accommodations in the future.

“I agree that the loss of a communal space hurts collaboration and is a reason why we are urging the university to plan for a large communal Creative Laboratory,” Kratz said.

Rick Dempsey, associate vice president of facilities management, said there will be a 6,000 square foot space devoted to 3D art in ROC West. There are two studios and one classroom and prep area.


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The arts department also purchased new equipment this past summer. Michele Hanlon, associate dean for the arts and humanities, said she is excited about the new art equipment and art space for the students.

“The new equipment that has been provided are painting supplies and a state of the art dust collection unit.” she said. “The new space has a dedicated sculpture studio, printmaking studio and darkroom, workshop and tool storage. The facility is being created from the ground up, so counters, sinks, storage will be new to the space.”

Originally, facilities management wanted to add printmaking and sculpture classes to the art wing of ATEC, but the plan wasn’t able to go through because of funding. The building didn’t have space to hold the art classes, forcing facilities management to find space for them elsewhere.

A gallery function called Synergy Park North 2 is currently under construction and will be an attachment to Synergy Park North. The gallery is expected to be ready for use after the next two weeks. As far as space, it is at least a quarter larger than what was provided before.

These two relocations are long-term temporary spaces for the art and humanities students. They will only be in use for the next couple of years while the university creates plans for a new art building in the near future.

Kratz said he was also concerned about the students possibly missing out on printmaking or sculpture classes, but appreciates the two relocations and the building’s ability to be more secure.

“It was a very eventful summer. There will be no classes missed,” Kratz said. “We ended up with the best scenario we could hope for immediately … (ROC West is) going to be secure, something we were never able to do with the Art Barn. I’m very pleased by it.”

Students enrolled in printmaking or sculpture classes will still have secure access to the building. They will be able to enter by scanning their Comet cards.