A new facility is now offering teaching studios and spaces for art history, ceramics, drawing, foundations of art, graphics, painting, printmaking, sculpture and small metals. It's the new Visual Arts Building at the University of Wyoming.

Located at 22nd Street and Willett Drive east of the Centennial Complex that houses the UW Art Museum, the 79,000-square foot facility expands teaching space and provides additional rooms for student projects. It also provides administrative offices, a large student commons area, a gallery to exhibit students' work and to support the Visiting Artists Program, and a large lecture room for art classes and other programs.

"The classrooms and spaces are great.  The light is incredible," commented Associate Professor Doug Russell. "This is going to be a wonderful place to work, create, and teach for many years."

The Wyoming State Legislature approved issuing revenue bonds for the project not to exceed $33 million, to be paid for by UW's share of federal mineral royalties. The center continues UW's effort to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards for sustainability.

The UW Department of Art moved into the new facility during winter break, and classes are being offered there this semester. The building is the first phase of a long-range plan to achieve cultural distinction outlined in University Plan 3, UW's strategic plan.

The second phase is a planned performing arts facility contingent upon legislative appropriations. It would include 120,00 square feet of renovated space in the Fine Arts Building and a 51,900-square foot addition. The facility houses offices, teaching laboratory/studios such as music, music rehearsal, acting and dance; and performance spaces such as concert halls and theatres.

The new Visual Arts Building will be dedicated Friday, Jan. 20, at 10:45 a.m. Refreshments and tours of the facility will be offered following the ribbon-cutting program.

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