COLUMBUS, Ga. – Columbus State University’s College of the Arts held a news conference Monday, October 24 to celebrate the beginning of construction on enhancements to the Corn Center for the Visual Arts. The project will include the renovation of the second level that will house the Bo Bartlett Center and a new west façade and porch that will provide entryways to both the Bartlett Center and the Illges Gallery.
“I am excited to see these projects moving forward,” said Chris Markwood, CSU president. “Just as we are finishing our project for education and nursing on the north end of downtown, these renovations on the Corn Center will allow us to fully utilize this beautiful arts complex. These will be great additions for CSU and Columbus.”
“This project is another example of the public/private partnership that has propelled our university and city to national prominence,” according to Rex Whiddon, director of development for CSU’s College of the Arts. “We are deeply indebted to our dedicated Board of Advisors and a cadre of generous donors. Without their commitment and generosity, this project, which is being funded solely by the private sector, would not be possible.”
The interior of the repurposed building will feature three galleries, a grand lobby, archive and administrative spaces. Programming will include a range of multidisciplinary approaches to creative learning drawing from dance, film, theater and music, as well as the visual arts. The center will offer lectures and symposia, as well as master classes by Bo Bartlett and a wide range of other artists from across the world. The center will house a collection of Bartlett’s historically important narrative paintings, sketchbooks and ephemera that tell the story of Bartlett’s journey as an artist.
“The center will provide innovative programs that will give Columbus State University national reach through ongoing collaborations with a diverse network of museums, art schools and universities across the country,” added David Houston, executive director of the Bartlett Center.
The new west façade and porch will provide a view of the Chattahoochee River and bring a new focus and presence to the Corn Center, providing increased visibility and circulation for both stories of the building, including a passenger elevator. The wood clad steel structure, designed by Studio Outside and Shipley Architects of Dallas, Texas, will also feature a new entrance to the Illges Gallery and a covered plaza that will be used for events and as an exhibition space.
For more information about the Bo Bartlett Center, contact David W. Houston, executive director of the Bo Bartlett Center, at 706-507-8044 or Rex Whiddon, director of development for CSU’S College of the Arts, at 706-507-8430.
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