Department of Art and Visual Technology to Break Ground on New Building

Posted: November 5, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Catherine Ferraro

AVT Building
A computer model of the new AVT Building

The Department of Art and Visual Technology (AVT) in the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for its new building on Tuesday, Nov. 6, at 2 p.m.

The ceremony, which will be held on the lawn behind Innovation Hall on the Fairfax Campus, is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

The new three-story building will house all of the AVT studio instructional areas, including painting and drawing, interdisciplinary arts, digital arts, graphic design, sculpture, art education, photography, printmaking, and BA, BFA, MAT and MFA degree programs.

The building was designed by Ayres Saint Gross, a Baltimore, Md.-based architecture firm with a 90-year history of campus planning and university facility design. The $24 million, 88,000-square-foot building has already received design honors with a top award in the category of new campus designs from the Baltimore Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

With the addition of the new building, AVT anticipates an overall 50 percent increase in space for studios, shops and lecture classrooms. According to Harold Linton, chair of AVT, the project also presents an opportunity for collaborative thinking in education. The department’s new home is intended to expand educational program opportunities in advanced technology, offer state-of-the-art studio facilities, increase student services, expand space for gallery and lecture halls and support a new community of graduate studio spaces.

window detail on new AVT building

With the new building, AVT plans to take advantage of Internet2 technology, which will enable students to have global opportunities to participate in and collaborate with artists on national and international projects, competitions, critiques and discussions.

A significant portion of the building will be devoted to graduate education. A new community of graduate studios will include shared studios for collaborative projects as well as individual studios.

Student lounges, two large galleries, a café, print bureau and a digital resource library are included in the overall plan for the building.

In addition to Linton, speakers scheduled for the groundbreaking ceremony are President Alan Merten, Senior Vice President Maurice Scherrens, Dean of CVPA Bill Reeder, and Associate Dean of Development and Associate Professor of CVPA, Brian Marcus.

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