New Art Building Opens

art building exterior

In January, the art history, digital arts, fine arts, graphic design, interactive multimedia (IMM), and photography departments moved into the new Art and Interactive Multimedia Building, which provides nearly 70,000 square feet of studios, classrooms, computer labs, offices, and display space.

“The new building provides an opportunity for us to bring computer technology, sound technology, digital design, animation, and video together in one place,” said John Laughton, dean of the School of the Arts and Communication. One of the exciting features of the new building, he said, is the Ubiquitous Computing Lab. Modeled after similar facilities at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and New York University, the room is essentially a creativity lab.

“It’s a free space that allows students and faculty to experiment with the newest technology,” Laughton said.

Another highlight is the building’s recording studio. Many of the computer games designed by IMM students incorporate music, and the studio will help with this process and be used to teach audio recording and production, Laughton explained.

“The new building also offers great opportunities to exhibit guest artists and student work,” Laughton continued. The College Art Gallery has moved into the large exhibition space on the building’s first floor, and several exhibitions are scheduled throughout the spring semester (visit www.tcnj.edu/~tcag for details). Laughton said that in the fall, the gallery will showcase work by alumni artists. (More information on this event will be forthcoming from the dean’s office.) On both sides of the gallery are rooms that will house student-created, site-specific art installations. There are also plans for the building’s center courtyard to be used as a sculpture garden.

The new building was designed and built to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver-level specifications, Lynda Kane Rothermel, campus architect and director of campus planning, said. LEED is a building rating system based on environmental standards, and although the College will not seek official LEED certification—“it would be an added cost, and the only thing we would get in return is a plaque,” Kane Rothermel explained—the new building boasts a number of green features. These include an environmentally friendly storm water management system and room occupancy sensors that reduce energy usage and electricity costs. Recycled materials were also used during construction.

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