orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

September 27, 2013

New VU Art Center cited as community resource

Special to The Leader
The Orange Leader

VINCENNES, Ind. — Emphasizing that “art belongs to all people,” Charles Reinhart, dean of Vincennes University’s College of Humanities, invited everyone to “roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty” in the studios of VU’s new Center for Art and Design.

During dedication ceremonies Friday at the $3.8 million Center, Reinhart said the work undertaken in the facility “will release the human imagination and find the spirit that was hidden” in materials ranging from wood, metal, and clay.

Stephen Black, chair of the Art Department, said that he hopes that “everyone - art and non-art majors, faculty and staff, administrators, and the greater community - continue to benefit from the imagination, creativity, skill, and dedication that are the hallmarks of the field of Art and Design, and essential qualities for success in all academic and career pursuits.”

Citing the new facility as a “pledge of our shared mission of quality in education through a commitment to the arts,” Black told a large audience at the dedication that “Creativity takes imagination and puts it into action.”

“Skill helps channel creativity into focused efforts.  Skill is what gives the artist the ability to transform a brushstroke into a sunset; to transform a line into a living portrait; to transform molten metal into a memorial that touches our hearts.  Skill is the key ingredient for the artist that makes the creative process seem like magic; that puts us in awe; that give us pause to appreciate what we have just experienced or witnessed,” Black said.

Noting the role that creativity plays in many other fields, Black said he hopes the new Center will be a community resource that inspires people in all walks of life.

Located on the corner of College Avenue and Third Street, the Center features studios, classrooms, and offices for instruction in ceramics, sculpture, metalworking, and woodworking.  The 15,225 square-foot facility includes a gallery to display student and faculty works and incorporates technology that optimizes day lighting and energy efficiency.

The general contractor for the building was Peyronnin Construction, Evansville; the electrical contractor was Weyer Electric, Ferdinand; the mechanical contractor was Huntingburg Machine Works, Huntingburg; and the design architectural firm was Gibraltar Design, Indianapolis.

In addition to Black and Reinhart, other participants in the dedication included VU President Dick Helton; Phil Rath, vice president for Financial Services and Government Relations; John Stachura, first vice chair of the Board of Trustees; Joshua Bryant, a student who is an Art Studio major; Laura Merida, Miss VU 2013; and Scott Shipman, director of the Christian Campus Fellowship.