Grand opening of Visual Arts Center slated for Sept. 18-19

Marshall University will celebrate the grand opening of its Visual Arts Center in downtown Huntington this week with a series of events open to the public over a two-day period.

The center is the renovated former Anderson-Newcomb, then Stone & Thomas department store, located at 927 3rd Ave. Marshall purchased the building in 2012 and work began in January 2013 to transform it to the permanent home of the School of Art and Design. The building opened when fall classes began Aug. 25.

Here is a look at each day’s public activities:


VisualArtsCenter2Thursday, Sept. 18

3 p.m., ribbon-cutting ceremony begins.
Speakers include:

College of Arts and Media Dean Donald Van Horn;
Barry Taylor, chair of the Campaign for Distinction;
Sandra Reed, Director of the School of Art and Design;
Hannah Saxton, Marshall student in the School of Art and Design;
President Dr. Stephen J. Kopp; and,
Huntington Mayor Steve Williams

3:45 p.m., actual ribbon-cutting; includes each of the ceremony speakers, plus
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Gayle Ormiston;
HMDA Board President Roger Smith; and,
HADCO President Gary Walton.

A reception will follow.


VisualArtsCenter1Friday, Sept. 19

5 to 8 p.m., Community Open House

  • This open house will provide the only chance for the public to tour floors two through six, which normally are reserved for students, faculty and staff. The first floor is the only floor that is regularly open to the public.
  • Student tour coordinators will guide visitors through the building.
  • The Visual Arts Center’s grand opening exhibition, “We ART Marshall,” will be on display in the first-floor gallery. It will feature works by artists and art educators who have made a significant contribution to the School of Art and Design over the years. Additionally, work by faculty, alumni and friends of the School of Art and Design will be exhibited throughout floors two through six. An opening reception for the exhibition will take place at 4 p.m.
  • A demonstration will take place on the 3rd floor by printmaking professor Peter Massing and photography associate professor Daniel Kaufmann.
  • A hands-on workshop will take place on the 5th floor by art education professor Dr. Maribea Barnes. The first 100 participants of this workshop will receive a Visual Arts Center imprinted apron.
  • Attendees will have the opportunity to have their memories of the building’s past archived at Marshall University. Students will have a Story Booth set up on the first floor where they will be privately interviewing participants using audio and video. As space and time for these interviews may be limited, the public is encouraged to call 304-696-4822 to make appointments for interview space.
  • 5 to 5:30 p.m., and 6 to 6:30 p.m., live music. Marshall University’s Jazz Combo will play at Pullman Square.
  • 5:40 p.m., Bison unveiling. Mayor Steve Williams, Metropolitan Partners’ Bill Dargusch and College of Arts and Media Dean Donald Van Horn will join School of Art and Design sophomore Brianna Jarvis for the unveiling of the life-size fiberglass bison that will make its home at Pullman Square across the street from the Visual Arts Center. Earlier this year, Jarvis won a public art competition called New Connections, a project funded by Pullman Square and representing the new connections that the Visual Arts Center will make to the future and community.
  • 6:30 to 8 p.m., radio broadcast. The W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications’ WMUL-FM will broadcast live at the event.
  • Light refreshments will be served on the first floor.