Last week, the Boettcher Foundation granted $500,000 to be used toward funding the creation of the new Visual Arts Complex.
Since word of this donation began spreading around campus last week, art and art history students said they have barely been able to contain their excitement about moving out of Fleming Law and into the new building.
“I think it’s important to have a new building because right now Fleming is really small and there’s not a lot of studio space,” said freshman art history major Sarah Gutierrez.
Like Gutierrez, sophomore studio arts major Erin Brotherton said she thinks that the new art building will serve art students better than the students’ current location in Fleming Law.
“The building we’re in now is really temporary, has no natural light, there’s no place to take pictures with a blank wall behind you, and it’s not suited for us,” Brotherton said.
Like Brotherton, freshman art history and film studies major Courtney Freedman said that she thinks the new Visual Arts Complex will be better suited for art students than Fleming Law.
Freedman, who dislikes having to make the trek across campus to Fleming, said, “I think having it in a more centralized location will be more helpful for everyone, and having it right next to Atlas will help because film and art students can work together easier.”
Many art students also said that they think the new building will not only provide them with more studio space, but also have a positive effect on their artwork.
“I think it’ll produce better work because we’ll be motivated and in a spot that is conducive to doing artwork,” Brotherton said.
Art students cannot help but express their excitement for the creation of the new Visual Arts Complex when they reflect on the old art building, Sibell Wolle Fine Arts, and their current location in Fleming. Since learning last week that the Boettcher Foundation is granting $500,000 toward the creation of the new art building, art students cannot help but voice their gratitude.
“They have already cut back so much of our supplies and as art students we have to pay dues, but on top of that you have to pay for a lot of your own supplies,” said Jordan Selan, a sophomore art history and studio arts major. “Having the half million dollar grant should help us.”
The Visual Arts Complex, which is scheduled to be completed this November, will be open for classes in spring 2010, according to Megan Rose, communications coordinator for Facilities Management. The building will be split into two sections; one for the Department of Art and Art History, and the other will house the CU Art Museum.
In the Department of Art and Art History building, there is going to be “an outdoor kiln area, exhibition spaces for student work, dedicated studio suites and classrooms and cross-disciplinary teaching studios with natural light,” Rose said.
The famous Colorado Collection, which consists of 5,000 pieces of artwork from different time periods and parts of the world, will be exhibited in the new CU Art Museum, Rose explained. According to the Visual Arts Complex brochure, this public art collection is the only one of its kind in Colorado. With the new 200-seat auditorium, the museum will be open to the greater public for guest lectures.
The museum will also feature galleries where students may exhibit their artwork, an area for lectures, discussions, art workshops and climate-controlled exhibition spaces, Rose said.
According to the Facilities Management website, the Visual Arts Complex will cost an estimated $63.5 million to build. Jeremy Simon, spokesman for the University of Colorado Foundation, said that the foundation’s primary purpose is to act as an agent for raising and investing money that will eventually be put toward funding the Visual Arts Complex. He said that the foundation is “aiming for $10 million in donor support for this project.”
This is not the Boettcher Foundation’s first contribution to CU; the foundation helped fund the creation of the Imig Music building, ATLAS building, and Wolf Law building.
“We are a very strong supporter of CU and have been for a long time,” said Katie Kramer, vice president of the Boettcher Foundation. Since the Boettcher Foundation awarded one of its first grants to CU in the 1930s, “…we’ve funded projects throughout the past decades on campus and this was a priority of the chancellor and was their big project right now and so they requested funds for it.”
Selan said she is grateful for the Boettcher Foundation’s grant and the creation of the new art building.
“I’m excited for us to get a new building because we haven’t had one in forever and I think it will make all of us so much happier and we’ll want to do artwork,” Selan said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Mindy Rappoport at Mindy.Rappoport@colorado.edu.