A Celebration of the Arts
The mood in the Department of Art and Art History was jubilant at the many activities celebrating the grand opening of the Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building in October. The formal dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at noon on Friday, October 14th with President Michael E. Engh, S.J. officiating. For many faculty and staff this was their first opportunity to meet Mr. Dowd and thank him personally for making our new facility possible. While it is no secret that the department needed a new building, none of us anticipated that it would be so beautiful. In fact, the ribbon cutting was held in the spacious atrium under the spectacular Dale Chihuly glass sculpture suspended from the second-floor ceiling above.
On Thursday, October 20th, 2016 Debbie Tahmassebi, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, hosted a magical Celebration of the Arts on a balmy fall evening. There were speeches, champagne toasts, and a stunning reception as well. Both events fostered many happy reunions with retired faculty members Professors Brigid Barton, Sam Hernandez, and Susan Felter in attendance.
Saturday, October 22nd featured the community celebration for our new building and all of the arts on campus celebrated with a program packed with all kinds of activities. Art history professors Chiara Gasparini, Kathleen Maxwell, Kate Morris, and Andrea Pappas gave short lectures. Art history and studio majors gave presentations or demonstrations, as did Studio faculty Kathy Aoki, Amir Attia, Renee Billingslea, Julie Hughes, and Takeshi Moro. Many former students attended, much to the delight of the faculty. A special barbeque reception for studio and art history alumni and their families was held afterwards in the new Sculpture yard.
The Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building boasts a sculpture garden adjacent to the gallery. The first exhibit was entitled “Creating and Collecting: New Faculty Work and Collection Acquisitions for the de Saisset Museum.” A related panel discussion on Friday, October 7th comprised the inaugural event of our new “First Fridays” program.