New home for the visual arts will bring programs ‘under one roof’


John Crawford, dean of the College of Arts, speaks about the launch of the new Center for the Visual Arts building in the Cartwright Hall Atrium on Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014.

Julia Kerchenski

Large, blue buttons with the words, “Under One Roof,” filled the Cartwright Hall Atrium for the launch of the Center for the Visual Arts on Thursday, Oct. 9.

Kent State’s Visual Arts program is currently spread across six buildings, but construction has begun to build the Center for the Visual Arts, bringing all programs together under one roof. When finished, it will bring together the school’s studio, classroom and gallery spaces for the first time since 1960.

Students, faculty, staff and supporters of the Kent State Arts program gathered to celebrate, as well as hear the plans for the Center for the Visual Arts, which is projected to be completed in Spring 2016, School of Art Director Christine Havice said.

The new building will allow students from different disciplines to view each other’s work in one place, which Havice said would have a positive effect on the visual arts community.

The setting for the celebration gave a view of the future location of the Center for the Visual Arts, which will be located east of Terrace Drive near Stopher and Johnson halls.

With construction already underway, the event marked the beginning of the building’s fundraising campaign.

Those in attendance were given the opportunity to sign colored ribbons with well wishes for the new building and tie them to banners that will be hung at the construction site.

President Beverly Warren spoke at the event, telling the audience she was drawn to Kent State because of the quality of the programs like the College of the Arts.

“I am always inspired by artists,” Warren said.

A video of the building renderings showed the audience what the finished center will look like.

The layout of the building, designed by Payto Architects, will allow art to be easily viewed inside and all around the building, said Gerald Payto, a principal at Payto Architects and a Kent State ’64 alumnus.

John Crawford, dean of the College of the Arts, told the audience that he hopes that, because of the location and large size of the building, students will use the Center for the Visual Arts as a short cut through campus. When students walk through the building, they will see galleries and works in progress, allowing student art to be viewed by more people on campus, Crawford said.

“It’s going to be really exciting and even more motivating for art students,” said Anna Saez, sophomore art history major. “We’re all going to be under one roof.”

Contact Julia Kerchenski at [email protected].