Written by Taylor Humby. Originally posted Oct. 3rd, 2019
On Thursday, Oct. 3, Boise State officially opened the doors of the Center for Visual Arts to the Boise community, with attendees bearing witness to the official ribbon-cutting by President Marlene Tromp and former President Bob Kustra.
Tromp spoke of the commitment to the arts she has seen Boise State University make in opening this new space, and the exciting future the building may unlock.
“As a person who studies literature, the notion that art is at the beating heart of a university feels so real and profound to me,” Tromp said. “I think we are going to attract some of the most talented people from all over the world to come here and use this facility. It prepares the state and our students much better for the future, because creativity is so much a part of innovation.”
Tromp stated that, with this new space, she hopes students will be better positioned to stretch their wings and fly, utilizing the facility to accomplish extraordinary things and further lift the university as a whole to new heights.
“A university that prides itself on innovation, should have a strong and powerful program in the arts,” Tromp said. “This building reflects the maturity, growth, development and progress of this university, and our aspirations to create a nationally and internationally recognized center for the arts has been realized in this amazing space.”
The excitement around future possibilities extended to the Associated Students of Boise State University President Kaleb Smith, who spoke of the new sense of home offered to students within the College of Arts and Sciences.
“When students came to Boise State and studied any degree under the College of Arts and Sciences, it was kind of all across campus,” Smith said. “However, now students can come here, and have state of the art facilities and technologies, and great studio spaces with proper ventilation systems, to be creative and innovative, and do awesome things.”
Gallery director Kirsten Furlong spoke of her personal investment as a long-time member of the university, thrilled to finally be using the space first proposed six years ago.
“From it becoming clear we were going to get a new building, to actually get to the point of having this building, is like a whole other level of excitement,” Furlong said. “This is not just any new facility. We could have had any building on campus, but the fact that it is here, so highly visible on Capitol Boulevard, and that the university is dedicating this very important space to the arts, means a lot.”
Furlong, not only enthusiastic about the new gallery spaces, spoke of the limitations overturned and what that means for new areas of study.
“We are doing processes that we couldn’t do in our old spaces. For example, there is a brand new giant press, and ceramics studios with all new kilns,” Furlong said. “In the print shop, they’re bringing back stone lithography which, due to a lack of proper safety setups, they haven’t done in 30 years.”
Boise architect Casey Huse, who took on the role of project architect, expressed his deepest gratitude for the opportunity to realize the vision for this facility.
“Faculty report, that the quality of student work has already risen in response to the new environment,” Huse said. “It is heard in the words of Mary Anne Carter, chair of the National Endowment of the Arts, who called the facility ‘world-class’ after her recent visit.”
Huse tasked students to give this new facility life, through exploring opportunities and achieving dreams previously considered impossible.
“Just as it is said that art imitates life, our buildings clearly imitate the living body,” Huse said. “As each of us here today are but a shell without that undefinable spark of life, our soul, so this facility has just now come alive. The faculty and students within its walls are its enduring spirit, without which it is an exotic yet meaningless husk.”
Read the original article at Arbiter Online.