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Nov. 7, 2011
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:
Office: 724.738.4854
Cell: 724.991.8302 


SRU art department cements future

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – The square patterns catch your eye like a life-size chessboard. They give the replacement patio alongside the Art Building an artistic flair.
       The art department is having the patio replaced to improve drainage and enhance the atmosphere. The art department is also preparing for a new Art Fibers Studio and art collection archive in Patterson Hall, said Thomas Como, art department chair.
          The capital improvements underscore the department’s commitment to offering aesthetically pleasing and high-functioning facilities. “They are significant improvements to provide a more positive environment for students,” Como said.
          The old patio was experiencing drainage problems and needed to be replaced, he said. The new patio was designed with squares so that it resembles the side of the Art Building and provides consistency. Workers graded the site and added a drain in the middle of the patio. They will cut smaller squares into the large squares in the patio. Como said new outdoor sculptures and landscaping would be added in coming weeks.
      “It should drain really well,” Como said. “It’s really not any bigger than the patio that was there, it just looks like it because they removed a tree and sculpture.”
      The repurposed Patterson Hall ­– formerly a student housing facility – has provided an opportunity for the art department to acquire space for a new Art Fibers Studio. It will open in fall 2012 in the basement of Patterson, Como said.
      “It will have an area for working with dry materials, working with wet materials and a floor drain,” Como said. “We will have paper making equipment and other equipment.”
      The department will use extra space in the fibers studio as a storage area for the University’s permanent collection of art to be moved from the Art Building. SRU’s Japanese prints and other artifacts are currently stored in the back of the Print Making Studio or in the Art Building. Relocating the collection will free up additional space for silk-screening art work in the Print Making Studio.
      The art department, which has 130 majors and 50 minors, has completed several student-centered upgrades in the past few years. The most significant is the Art Sculpture Building that opened in 2009. The 5,100-square-foot building includes a woodworking shop, welding and casting room, and a main lecture hall that doubles as a sculpture classroom.