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VCAR upgrades include new studios, classrooms and art gallery

July 16, 2009 : Angelica Atkins

Renovations are under way at the new sculpture lab and art gallery for the VCAR department.

Liberty University’s Spiritual Life & Academic Building (SLAB) is undergoing extensive renovations this summer to accommodate the growth of the Visual Communication Arts (VCAR) program.

The VCAR program, which offers specializations in graphic design, studio art and art education and licensure, started three years ago with 150 students. Now there are close to 400 declared VCAR majors. The program has quickly outgrown its corner in the SLAB hallway.

The renovations are “a major move forward,” according to VCAR Director Todd Smith.

“The renovations add much-needed space, enabling us to provide a context for artistic expression and accommodate continuing curriculum development,” he said. “Our students have a real sense of God being with them in creative activities. Expanding the VCAR degree helps them fulfill Liberty’s mission of being salt and light in all aspects of culture.”

A spacious sculpture studio will permit students to undertake larger projects with a variety of materials such as metal, clay, plaster and wood. Another studio will be used for ceramics classes where students can throw, glaze and fire pottery on wheels and kilns.

Additional classrooms will allow VCAR to expand the new art education licensure specialization, where future art teachers can practice techniques and skills they will use in K-12 educational settings.

Workers are also creating a 30-by-38-foot gallery with 13-foot ceilings, track lighting and professional hanging system for student, faculty and professional art shows such as the third annual artist series coming this fall.
Art shows in the previous gallery were well done but only able to accommodate small numbers of viewers at one time.

Students crowd in to view art in the former art gallery.

A new art gallery will help Liberty’s VCAR program develop an art collection and enhance its on-campus, regional and national presence.

Smith said the VCAR program is churning out students who want to make an impact on their society.

“We live in a communications-oriented society; a major portion of this is visual in nature. I believe our students are poised to enrich the culture and bring glory to God through visual art in all its various forms — graphic design, animation, web design, sculpture, painting, photography and so on.”

 

The VCAR degree program requires 45 credit hours in the major. Three 18 credit hour minors are also offered in graphic design, studio art and photography.