JBU Announces $2.5 Million Gift for Art Building Renovation

Art studio view

Art studio view

Siloam Springs, Arkansas (April 26, 2011) — An anonymous $2.5 million gift will fund the renovation of John Brown University’s current Engineering Building into a cutting-edge art facility for the Department of Visual Arts, President Chip Pollard announced this week.

The building, part of the historic Cathedral Group on JBU’s main campus, is currently occupied by the Engineering and Construction Management Division, which will be moving to the under-construction Balzer Technology Center, scheduled to open this fall.

“As our largest academic program, the Department of Visual Arts has great need for new space,” said Dr. Pollard. “We are deeply grateful for the blessing of this anonymous gift which will primarily benefit our digital media arts, cinema, graphic and web design, art and illustration and photography majors.”

Currently, the Department Visual Arts occupies the Cathedral Group’s southwest building. When the renovation on the northeast building is complete, the 200-plus majors in the department will utilize both facilities. The renovation is expected to take about six months.

The renovated facility will include new drawing and painting studios, a new printmaking studio, a larger multipurpose, enhanced-technology classroom, new video editing suites, new sound recording studios, a new drawing studio, and a new, permanent student works gallery.

“To be able to have this additional, newly renovated facility will enable us to create an even richer educational experience for our art students,” said Dave Andrus, professor of visual arts and department chair. “Because of this anonymous gift and other similar support, we are able to offer our students an exceptional program in a facility that perfectly fits our needs.”

Students from the visual arts department are frequently recognized for their talent. During the recent District Ten Ad Federation “ADDY Awards” competition, JBU students brought home two gold medal awards and five bronze medal awards. The Gold medal awards will be entered into the national competition in June. 

Originally built in 1956, the northeast building of the Cathedral Group first housed the university library. The exterior of the building, along with the other two buildings of the Cathedral Group, were renovated in 2008.

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