[flagallery gid=37 name="Gallery"]A squirming intestinal creature births amoeba-like shapes while a crescendo of sound broadcast over the Internet from Los Angeles and Austin, Texas reverberates off the concrete walls of a room in a dark basement.
Welcome to Iknewaman’s Hullabaloo, a collaborative performance art piece done as part of the celebration in honor of the Visual Art Complex’s dedication ceremony Friday.
An open house showcased not only the state-of–the-art building but also the creativity that has flourished inside. The five floors housed work in every niche and corner and included pieces from every discipline from illustration to installation, conceptual to concrete.
Garrison Roots, the chair of the Art and Art History Department said he felt the new complex showed the university’s commitment to the arts.
“I think the arts struggle for appreciation on so many levels, and for the university to commit to and struggle through the many obstacles to build a facility like this, which is one of the largest and best equipped in terms of contemporary visual arts buildings, is beyond comprehension,” Roots said.
Roots also said the complex adds to the university’s mission.
“It reflects the university’s dedication to a rounded liberal arts education of which I am very proud,” he said.
One of the largest obstacles was funding, he said. In 2004 Colorado cut funding to public buildings. That dealt a major blow to public institutions like CU, which operates in part on public funds.
In response, students voted to impose additional fees to raise the needed capital said Allison Foley, the vice president of external affairs for the University of Colorado Student Government. The VAC is the fourth building completed using these student-generated funds following the Koelbel Business, Wolf Law and ATLAS buildings.
Students provided about $30 million or about half of the $63.5 million it took to complete the space, Foley said in her dedication speech.
“It’s unprecedented,” said donor and former CU Art Museum board member Nancy Tieken of Boston. “That the students are so invested gives them a sense of ownership that is a very important element to art.”
Students also took pride in the usage of student fees to fund the building.
“It’s really cool that students paid for it,” said 21-year-old senior sculpture major Chelsey Jennings. “That says a lot about our values. The old building never felt like it was made for art. There wasn’t room to play. Here, once people started putting up art we got to see how it could be a gallery space as well as a work space.”
The VAC is also home to the Art History Department and is connected to the CU Art Museum and the ATLAS building, home to the film studies department.
The proximity of these departments encourages cross-discipline creativity, Roots said.
“Our vision is not to be the East Coast or the West Coast, but to be an oasis in the middle of the plains here in the U.S., opening our doors to anyone who wants to be challenged by the visual arts,” Roots said.
Oasis, gallery, studio – regardless of what it’s called, perhaps Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Todd Gleeson put it best when he said, “Welcome home, to all of you.”
Contact CU Independent Photo Editor Lauren Walter at Lauren.email@example.com.
- Boulder prepares for 29th Street Marketplace's grand opening
- Art opening shines
- CU's Muslim Students Association Gather and Share
- As renovations finish at Leeds, construction begins at Sibell Wolle
- Excitement is on par