June 9, 2009
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:
SRU's Art Sculpture Building casts bright future for students
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. � - Slippery Rock University's new $1.25-million Art Sculpture Building will be completed in October, giving students a larger and more efficient facility for creating works in clay, metal, wood and other materials. The educational benefits will be many, including high-tech Internet connections, lecture hall and new computers with three-dimensional applications.
"All of the art students are really excited to hear about the new sculpture building, what it's going to contain and the size of it," said David Wilhelm, an art major from Rimersburg. "The set up and environment for sculpture is really important. This new building will enhance all of that."
The 5,100-square foot facility, across from the President's House, will include a woodworking shop, welding and casting room and a main lecture hall that will double as a sculpture classroom, said Thomas Como, SRU art department chair. Amenities will include mounted saws and sanders, a blacksmith forge and loading dock. Como will also have an office in the building.
"The new Art Sculpture Building represents the commitment of the University to dramatically improve the learning environment for arts students to promote their creativity," said Eva Tsuquiashi-Daddesio, interim dean of the College of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts. "It also underscores the importance of the fine arts at this institution."
The building will offer students better opportunities to be creative using hand techniques as well as power tools such as the drill press. Air conditioning will be available everywhere except the welding area. Art Building II, the current home of sculpture and ceramics, will continue to house ceramics.
"One of the main reasons the new building will be more efficient is the ease of getting materials in and out, plus everything is a larger scale than the other studio," Como said. "It's a new facility, and it's really going to help attract more students into the program."
Robert Englebaugh of HHSDR Architects/Engineers in Sharon designed the building. Greening features include maximum use of day lighting and insulated glass and walls, he said. The facility will include a shed dormer roof, which will allow daylight to come into the work areas at a non-blinding angle. He noted the roof would be "Slippery Rock green."
A Prometheus unit, connected to the Internet, will enable professors to share images and connect to off-campus sites to further explain art concepts. Three-dimension modeling on computers will give students renderings of sculptures to help them explore and conceive new ideas. Then students will be able to practice what they learn in the classroom environment. Como said students would be able to use all kinds of materials for their sculptures, including stone.
"The new building's going to be nice, and it demonstrates this institution's commitment to the program," Como said.
Wilhelm said he uses clay, metals and woods for sculptures and also paints. "I like to sculpture because I like the different ways you can manipulate material to create form," he said.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.