IOWA CITY — Collaboration is everywhere these days.

Engineers are working with artists. Graphic design is merging with informatics. Cinema and dance and printmaking and painting are becoming linked in a way unprecedented until now.

And at the center of this unification of ideas and skills and education across the nation is the University of Iowa’s new Visual Arts Building. Nothing about the creation of this 126,597-square-foot space and its five floors serving nine academic programs and 1,600 students was haphazard.

The windows, screens, floors, walls and doors of the meticulously-modeled studios, workshops, galleries and classrooms all serve a purpose.

“Because this is a purpose-built building for the production of visual arts, it’s probably the best visual arts building that’s been made in the last 50 years just about anywhere,” said Steve McGuire, UI art professor and director of the Studio Arts Division in the School of Art and Art History.

The $77 million Visual Arts Building is among a handful of massive UI building projects that have come online this summer and fall after being devastated during the 2008 flood. Like the new Hancher Auditorium and Voxman Music Building, the campus’ Visual Arts Building debuted in August and already has received national attention for its inspiring architecture, green design and experimental spaces expected to inspire breakthrough work and ideas for years.

“One of the things that I think is important to understand about the value of this building, historically, is it comes at a time where undergraduate and graduate students are rethinking their composition of a university education,” McGuire said.

 

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Take a video tour of the UI's new Visual Arts Building by clicking here.

 

 

Publication Source: 
Cedar Rapids Gazette