Construction continues in the University of Arkansas arts and design district

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Construction of the Windgate Art and Design District / Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

A closing ceremony was held last month to celebrate the last steel beam placed in the Windgate Center in the University of Arkansas’ new art and design district in south Fayetteville.

Crews have now moved to the exterior work of the 154,000-square-foot center at the southeast corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Hill Avenue, where classes are expected to begin in the spring of 2023.

The anchor installation is part of the neighborhood’s first phase, and will house the ceramic, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking studio art program areas and their MFA and BFA studios, as well as the graphic design program. and the new Master of Design Diploma. The building will also include a design clinic to collaborate with community partners, a printing lab, and a coffee bar to serve students, faculty and the community.

The Windgate Charitable Foundation provided $ 40 million for the district’s first phase, then added a partial challenge grant of $ 30 million for phase two, which will include a 58,000 square foot gallery and foundation building.

Construction of the Windgate Art and Design District / Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

The second building will house the school’s public galleries, a 250-seat auditorium, artist studios, a manufacturing laboratory and an art and entrepreneurship workshop.

The expansion of the arts at the university took a big step forward in 2017 when the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation donated $ 120 million to establish the School of Art. It is the first and only accredited college art school in the state.

The school recently grew from an average of 300 to 500 students, from 36 to 55 full-time faculty members, and now offers 415 scholarships in the amount of over $ 990,000.

“Due to such tremendous growth, the School of Art has spread over 12 different locations on and around the State University campus and the community of Fayetteville,” said Jeannie Hulen, Dean associate of Fulbright College. “Ultimately, to give our students the best, most collaborative and effective education, the School of Art needs to have all of its programs, studios, laboratories, faculty spaces and student spaces brought together as closely as possible and more. close to the community. ”

The school’s 70-year-old fine arts building near the center of the campus is also undergoing restoration and will house the art history and arts education programs, which officials say , will allow each discipline to develop by adding a master’s and a doctorate. . option.


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