Nov 6th, 2018, 07:24 PM

New Art Space on Campus

By Joan Jessiman
Image Credit: Annie Petty
Calling all AUP art students: AUP’s campus will soon include new art spaces in what is now the library.

The library will soon undergo a huge change as it is turned into the new AUP art building. There is not a set date for the art space to open as campus is currently getting bigger with our new building to open 21 March. Being that AUP is a liberal arts school, it is surprising to some to discover that we currently only have one fine arts classroom. The small art room that’s overflowing with students works is hidden on the fifth floor of Combes. Rumors have been circulating campus that art classes wont take place in the new building but instead in a new art space that is currently the library.

A view of the AUP library, soon to be the new fine arts space. Image Credit: Joan Jessiman

In order to get the best information about the new art space Peacock Plume sat down with the head of the art department Jonathan Shimony. He confirmed the rumors, saying, “Its true. We had a meeting with the Provost about it and were hoping to meet the architect to discuss plans as soon as possible.”

The buildings ground floor will include two studio classroom spaces, two art history classrooms, as well as office space. The basement level will undergo a huge change to become a 85 person amphitheater. Shimony noted this step forward for AUP saying, “It will be amazing not only for classes that would need the space, but would also allow for us to expand our cultural offerings. We will be able to invite musicians and theater groups to perform. For the university its a huge step forward and cultural advance.”

Shimony explained that the current art room on the top floor of Combes will most likely go to a different department or will be used for office space.

The current AUP fine arts space. Image Credit: Annie Petty

In regards to the new building opening in March, Shimony noted that there won't be any classrooms dedicated to arts.  Though there won’t be art in the new space, “Were hoping to have an AUP alumni art gallery that will connect via corridor to the existing Combes gallery. The AUP architect has given us a long clean white hall with track lighting to connect the two,” he said.

 Shimony explained that he wants to start a yearly or bi-yearly competition where AUP alumni can submit their work with the winner invited to see their display as well as having a personal exhibition in the Combes Gallery. He stated, “We want AUP art to be known everywhere.”  

The interior of the current AUP library. Image Credit: Joan Jessiman

With the art space in the process of being planned, the talk of some new art classes is a possibility for coming semesters. Shimony mentioned that there have been meetings with the Provost and that as usual all classes will need to be run past the curriculum committee for approval. Shimony said that “art history will be offering non-western classes including one on China and possibly Africa.” He continued to say, “If we did that we might be able to offer a non western materials and techniques class. I have never seen a non western materials and techniques class at any liberal arts schools in the West.”

These additions to the curriculum would tie together to make great additions to art at AUP. When talking about other art classes, he noted that AUP would love to have ceramics buts it’s all about our space. He laughed saying “if we can find a donor that would give us a building that would be great.”