An Artistic Flair for New Social Sciences Building
By Willena Moye
The Social Sciences Building (above) was designed by Stevens & Wilkinson Stang & Newdow, the same architectural firm that designed the soon-to-be-completed Performance Hall and Phase I of the Art Museum.
Associate Professor Joseph Remillard critiques one of the student paintings submitted for the new building.
It’s not just a standard classroom building.
The new Social Sciences Building, opened in January, was designed to be state-of-the-art, fully wired and environmentally friendly. The architectural firm, Stevens & Wilkinson Stang & Newdow, designed the building to be art friendly as well, with specially created spaces and proper lighting for the exhibition of paintings, prints and sculpture. Not only works from the university’s Permanent Collection of Art but also specially commissioned paintings from KSU art students will soon be on display.
Last semester, members of Associate Professor or Art Joseph Remillard’s painting class were asked to create works to be considered for hanging in the corridors of the second and third floors of the new building. The artists were asked to think in terms of current social, political and cultural issues, to consider the various disciplines being taught on those floors, and to create works that were sensitive to the subject areas. Eighteen student paintings were chosen to begin the College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ new collection.
For the fourth and fifth floors, the faculty and staff of HSS have chosen works from the university’s permanent collection. As Will Hipps, KSU’s Director and Curator of Museums and Galleries, says, “There are works from the university’s permanent collection in almost every building on campus, especially administrative offices and conference rooms. The people who work in each place get to chose the art they live with.”
Hipps and museum professional Kirstie Tepper were called upon to plan the placement of each piece. In addition to the subject matter and ideas reflected in the paintings, Hipps and Tepper have considered size, color, form, and such intangibles as how each piece relates to those near it when deciding where to place each work. For example, they might place more monochromatic pieces near brightly colored furniture.
Now that the building is finished and the artwork is set aside, installation will be scheduled as soon as the security hardware is received.