The Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building
Blake de Maria
Construction is nearing completion on the Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History building. Since the Spring 2015 groundbreaking, the Department of Art and Art History has been actively involved in all aspects of the project, ranging from the color story for the finishes and floor treatments to the acquisition of new furniture for the entirety of the structure. Every effort has been made to create an environment that is conducive to the creative and research needs of students and faculty alike. We expect construction to be completed in Spring 2016, followed by a Summer 2016 move. We look forward to welcoming you to our new home in Fall 2016.
The 44,000+ square foot structure features three floors designed to support the creation of art in the twenty-first century. The building boasts instructional studios for ceramics, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, and painting, a dark room, a dedicated photo lighting studio, seven new classrooms (including two art history classrooms and two computer labs), a gallery, and an exterior sculpture garden. In addition to these traditional venues for the teaching of art and art history, numerous informal learning spaces will be available to students in our new home. Casual seating along the first and third floor exhibition corridors will allow students to study, share ideas, and relax as they admire fine art created by their peers, while two terraces provide beautiful views of Franklin Street and the Santa Clara campus. Finally, the faculty and staff of the Department of Art and Art History will be reunited in one location, with administrative offices located on the ground floor and all faculty offices and private research studios situated on the second and third floors.
The Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building has been designed to encourage greater engagement with the broader arts community, within Silicon Valley and beyond. A visiting artist's studio will allow us to host artists from throughout the country to come to SCU for a quarter or a year. Visiting artists will create their work in our facilities and then exhibit it in our 1600 square foot gallery. This gallery will also serve as a venue to host lectures and symposia, as well as accommodating innovative art installations. In addition to the temporary exhibitions on display in the gallery, the building will also boast permanent works, including a hanging glass installation by Dale Chihuly in the entrance foyer and additional public art in the exterior sculpture garden. We look forward to using our new facilities to expand our existing artistic partnerships with local institutions, which currently include a program that allows us to offer summer funding for our students to intern at local arts organizations, and summer arts courses for students from local high schools.
The new Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building will serve as much more than a locus for the creation and viewing of art: it will serve as a center for the arts for the entire campus. It has been my pleasure and honor to oversee the planning and construction of the Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History building project. Having spent the past fours years working on the plan, construction, and now the finishing touches, I can state unequivocally that our students will benefit from an education in art and art history unique not only in the Bay Area, but, in fact, throughout the West Coast.