Samford Hosts Grand Opening for New Art Lofts
by Jimmy Lichtenwalter
Samford University hosted the official grand opening of its new Art Lofts Nov. 7 as part of 2015 homecoming weekend festivities. Several hundred students, alumni, faculty and staff from the School of the Arts and from across campus attended the event.
The Department of Visual Arts moved into the space earlier in the fall semester. The former maintenance facility has been repurposed as state-of-the-art teaching and studio space.
The open space was constructed specifically for art students as a place for them to receive instruction and work on their various art projects. The lofts include classrooms, offices and personal space for students to work on their individual artistic endeavors.
“This is just a raw space for us to get artsy and messy,” said Merrell McQueen, a senior fine arts major. “Now that we have the capacity to do so, I am really excited to see art students making use of these facilities and creating new art.”
“It’s such a fabulous place for creative people,” said Samford Provost J. Michael Hardin. “It’s a very cool, very inspirational environment. Samford is becoming a cultural leader in Birmingham, and this new space really adds to that.”
The official ribbon-cutting ceremony included a prayer from former Samford art professor Lowell Vann, remarks from Dean Joe Hopkins and Associate Dean for Visual Arts Larry Thompson, and a performance by the Samford A Cappella Choir.
“It took a lot of imagination from a lot of people to get where we are today,” Hopkins said. “This is an exciting moment, but it’s also a humbling moment. I am humbled because of your confidence in our students and faculty and what they are trying to accomplish.”
Jimmy Lichtenwalter is a journalism and mass communication major and a news and feature writer in the Office of Marketing and Communication.
ABOUT SAMFORD UNIVERSITY -- Samford University is a premier nationally ranked Christian university. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 3rd among regional universities in the South, and Samford is recognized as the top-ranked university in the state of Alabama in national rankings published by Forbes Inc, The Economist and The Wall Street Journal. Samford enrolls 5,509 students from 45 states and 30 countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference. www.samford.edu