University of Indianapolis receives $100,000 grant to expand art and design facilities

A $100,000 grant from the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation will expand opportunities for University of Indianapolis students, faculty, staff and art lovers throughout the Midwest to connect with the fine arts. The grant will support a significant facility upgrade and expansion that meets the Department of Art & Design’s growing needs to accommodate more students and to continue to meet the accrediting standards set by the National Association for Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Through the expansion, the department’s space will increase by 73 percent from 15,000 square feet to 26,000. The project includes the renovation of an existing building on campus and a reorganization of space within the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center. The additional, repurposed building will include spaces for a sculpture studio (both wood and metal), ceramics, art therapy space, a new student gallery, studio classroom, two offices and storage space. Reorganization and updating of the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center will allow expansion of the printmaking studio, digital photography studio, animation/illustration digital studio and a studio classroom.

“This initiative plays a critical role in helping the University of Indianapolis expand our facilities to accommodate the increasing enrollments in our Art & Design programs,” said President Robert L. Manuel. “We are grateful to the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation for their support of this project, which allows the university to grow its impact and build innovative connections between students, faculty, staff and the community.”

The repurposed building will include spaces for a sculpture studio (both wood and metal), ceramics, art therapy space and more. (Submitted photo)

The University of Indianapolis Art & Design program is one of only 300+ schools in the nation to be accredited by the National Association for Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). The expansion will fulfill the Department of Art & Design’s growing program demands and continued accreditation requirements of the NASAD.

With programs in studio art, visual communication design, pre-art therapy and art education, the University of Indianapolis Department of Art & Design also offers concentrations in drawing, painting, ceramics, digital photography, printmaking, sculpture and animation/illustration. The expansion will provide the additional space required to facilitate the department’s expanding programs and to grow the department’s interdisciplinary collaborations both inside and outside of the university. During the last five years, innovative programs have connected students with regional and national networks of artists and community organizations. Faculty-led projects such as the “River Fish” sculpture along the White River and a hanging sculpture for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s 2020 Beethoven Series have created hands-on learning experiences for students while further reinforcing the department’s reputation for artistic excellence.

“Students have shared that they choose UIndy’s Art & Design program due to its outstanding reputation for quality and supportive faculty. This expansion shows prospective and current students that the university highly values our Art & Design program and our students. This project also demonstrates the priority the university gives to providing access to art and cultural events on the Southside of Indianapolis and growing our role as a vital community anchor,” said Mary Moore, interim dean of the Shaheen College of Arts & Sciences.