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Vanderbilt University celebrates new Studio Arts Center, Groundbreaking set for Friday

Nov. 3, 2004, 3:54 PM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. ñ Nashville will soon have a bustling new center
for the arts with the opening of a $13 million Studio Arts Center
expected to debut on the Vanderbilt campus in the fall of 2005.

"The anticipation of this building has already brought changes for
our students," said Marilyn Murphy, a professor of art and former chair
of the department. "We anticipate that this building and the new studio
track for the degree in fine arts will fill a gap in the Arts and
Science curriculum and draw new students to our university that would
have bypassed Vanderbilt in the past."

University officials estimate that enrollment in studio art classes
will increase by 15 to 20 percent after the Studio Arts Center makes
them open to more students.

Groundbreaking for the Studio Arts Center will be at 2 p.m. on
Friday, Nov. 5, at the construction site between Branscomb Quadrangle
and the University Club on the Vanderbilt campus. The public is invited.

The Studio Arts Center will have studios for sculpture, ceramics,
photography, computer arts, painting and drawing. Gallery space will be
designated for exhibits primarily of students’ work, and faculty will
have offices and research areas. Currently, Vanderbilt’s approximately
500 art students learn in the Fine Arts Building (built in 1880) and do
the bulk of their studio work in the Cohen Building on the campus of
Vanderbilt’s Peabody College.

Art exhibits will continue to be offered at other venues around
campus, including the Fine Arts Gallery, Sarratt Gallery, the Margaret
Cuninggim Women’s Center and the Kennedy Center.

"I know that shortly after the construction of this building, eager
students will fill its rooms and begin to learn, explore and create,"
said Clay Carroll, a sophomore art student. "I know we are all looking
forward to putting these facilities to good use."

Gifts from Vanderbilt supporters, including leading gifts from
Michael and Suzanne Ainslie, Robert Lindsay and Robin Ingram Patton
have helped make the new center possible. Michael Ainslie is a 1965
Vanderbilt graduate and member of its Board of Trust. Lindsay graduated
from Vanderbilt in 1947, and Patton is a well-known supporter of the
visual arts and education.

"I became involved in the project in large part because of a belief
I have in the central role of the arts in the education of tomorrow’s
leaders," Patton said. "Arts education, especially in the studio arts,
gives students the opportunity to express their individuality and their
creativity, translating what they feel and think into concrete reality."

Vanderbilt Chancellor Gordon Gee will speak at the groundbreaking,
along with Richard McCarty, dean of the College of Arts and Science;
Nicholas S. Zeppos, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs;
Murphy; and Carroll.

"Our faculty and students deserve this wonderful new facility,"
McCarty said. "We will have a spectacular facility that will serve the
entire university community."

The Studio Arts Center is the latest phase of the University Commons
project designed to shift the center of university activities, said
Judson Newbern, associate vice chancellor for campus planning and
construction. The University Commons, which will include the new
Student Life Center as well as the Studio Arts Center, will be at the
center of the university’s academic core, near the Vanderbilt
University Medical Center and athletic and residential
facilities.

"With the Schulman Center for Jewish Life and Vanderbilt Student
Life Center, it will energize the geographic center of campus,
utilizing a previously under-realized area," Newbern said.

Media contact: Jim Patterson, (615) 322-NEWS
Jim.patterson@vanderbilt.edu

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