Springfield Business Journal: “MSU art department hosts Brick City ribbon-cutting event”

SBJ Staff

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 6:54 AM

Gov. Jay Nixon joined Missouri State University officials this morning in recognizing the new downtown home for the university's art and design department: Brick City.

The university hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Brick City West Gallery, 215 W. Mill St. Tours of the facilities followed the program, according to a news release.

“The move to Brick City has given the art and design department the room to grow, not just in terms of square footage, but also in exchanging ideas, creating new collaborations and redefining our shared vision,” Carolyn Cardenas, head of the department of art and design, said in the release.

Renovations on the former industrial buildings that comprise Brick City began in 2007 by owner and developer Matt Miller Co. Part of IDEA Commons, the remodeled Brick City complex provides more than 85,000 square feet of space in four buildings for art and design classes, according to the release.

Buildings 3 and 4, which opened in 2010 and 2008 respectively, are home to the classrooms and studio workshops that serve studio art classes, art education, sculpture, drawing and painting, as well as the Brick City Galleries. Advertising agency The Marlin Co. also leases the third floor of Building 3 from Matt Miller Co.

Building 1, which is now open on floors one through three, houses the department’s main offices, the Visual Resources Collection and the Brick City Design Studio. This building also accommodates the studios and classroom spaces for ceramics, printmaking, graphic design and illustration, animation, digital arts, metals and jewelry, photography and art history, according to the release.

Renovations continue on the fourth floor of Building 1, which will house the cooperative Doctor of Pharmacy program between the University of Missouri-Kansas City and MSU. The first class is scheduled to enroll in fall 2014. Building 5 serves as photography lighting studios.

“A tired, worn-out part of downtown has been improved and, in the process, we have created some of the best art space anywhere,” MSU President Clif Smart said in the release. “As we work to upgrade our facilities during the next several years for our students and faculty, this project will certainly be a particular point of pride.”

Smart said the space vacated by the art and design department on campus will be renovated and reassigned to other academic units. MSU has an option to purchase buildings at Brick City as part of its lease agreements, the release said.

“We have dreamed about the day when everyone from the department of art and design could be located in one place and benefit from the creative spark that close proximity produces, and now that day is here. Many people contributed to helping make this dream come true, and we are grateful for that help,” Gloria Galanes, dean of the College of Arts and Letters, said in the release.