We build a home for art and art history: wondrous new studio space, a room where the whole of St. Peter’s Square can be summoned on enormous digital screens around you—and how marvelous to make and study, paint and sculpt, carve and limn, photograph and animate, design and bake in the kiln, give narrative body to the history of images across the whole of human experience. Converging on this space are artists and aspiring engineers and entrepreneurs attuned to living in a visual culture—thanks in no small part to their time here. Think idea-sparking conversation, turning astonishing keys to open doors of the past and present and recognize what is taking shape: beauty and social commentary, in forms digital and tactile, destined for installation in galleries and museums and places indoors and out. You’ll already find the creations of the artists who work in these rooms far afield: Los Angeles and Seattle, Super Bowl headquarters and a center for the arts in El Salvador, in the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art and spaces big and small throughout the Bay Area. Here are formed gorgeous tomes on Galileo’s Venice and illuminated Byzantine Gospel, contemporary work by African-American artists, postwar Japanese photography, and early American textiles. In stone and wood and paper: pointed humor and shrines to popular culture. In light and space, canvas and oil: stories of landscape and time, hillside and bay.
One way to look at it, as art historian Andrea Pappas does: “Artworks are magic suitcases just waiting to be unpacked!”
So see artist Harry Campbell taking an imaginative cue from the building now taking form. What’s happening inside the Edward M. Dowd Art & Art History Building? Construction will be completed in spring 2016. And then works-in-progress arrive, new projects commence—of artists and scholars, students from across the disciplines and the world—and the doors open to the community, kindling delight and wonder. Here, friends, is where artists young and old roll up their sleeves, labor, and play with the pigments of the earth and the geometries of the mind.