Construction of New Fine Arts Facility Begins
For years, Covenant College art students have painted, thrown clay, sculpted, and sketched in an old equestrian stable affectionately known as the Art Barn. An original structure from Carter Hall’s days as the Lookout Mountain Hotel, the stable operated as the primary art facility on Covenant’s campus since the reestablishment of the art major in 2003.
The Art Barn closed in the summer of 2014, following investigations by facilities management and a structural engineer. As the cost of a detailed structural analysis and potential remediation would likely be higher than the actual monetary value of the building, the College decided to pursue construction of a new facility. Classes and studio spaces were temporarily relocated to Jackson Hall and the basement of Carter Hall. In light of the continued growth of the art program and the need for a new facility, the College is pleased to announce plans to construct a new fine arts building.
Beginning in January 2015, the Art Barn is being dismantled and construction of a new fine arts facility will soon begin on the same location. The lower-campus site offers the chance to construct a building that diverges from the College’s typical, stucco structures into a new architectural style. The building is scheduled to open before the fall semester begins in August 2015.
Covenant’s new fine arts building will provide the square footage necessary to accommodate more student studio space as well as offices and studio space for art faculty. As the number of students majoring in art has increased six-fold in the past decade, it has been clear for several years that the 3,200 square feet of space in the Art Barn was inadequate. The new facility is programmed for 7,500 square feet. In addition, the building will feature improved natural lighting, ventilation in studios, designated work space for senior art students, and a commons. The interior of the building is designed to incorporate windows from the Art Barn, maintaining a link between the history and future of Covenant’s art program.
“We are excited about the potential intersections between student, faculty, and visitor in a variety of ways,” said Prof. Jeff Morton, chair of the art department. “Roughly 1000 square feet of the commons area will be used for the display of ‘in-progress’ and finished student work. Additionally, a unique feature to the new building that will house sculpture and ceramics, painting and drawing, is a faculty work space connected to these two studio areas. The faculty office is ostensibly a studio. Here we communicate an important example to our students that the faculty member is a working artist. In this studio space, students will be able to watch works develop and participate alongside faculty members in the art department.”
Construction of the new fine arts facility will cost approximately $2,200,000. In addition to raising funds for construction, the College is seeking to raise an additional $500,000 to endow the ongoing maintenance and care of the facility.
“We’re grateful for the many foundations and friends of Covenant who quickly saw the need and have already pledged or contributed $1,200,000 toward the cost of construction,” said Jeff Sandhoff, interim vice president for development. If you would like to join our efforts to support fine arts at Covenant by contributing to the building or its endowment, you can give today.