After four years of struggle and debate, the Art Department has finally won the recognition and support to refurbish the ceramics and sculpting facilities. Most of the equipment used (throw wheels, kilns, ventilation, slab rollers, and storage) dated back to roughly 30 years ago.
Out of the three gas kilns available to artists, only one was somewhat operational.
Tom Corey, an art student, commented on the kilns, “When Moses built them, he got some help from Adam. They’re that old.”
The Art Department’s neglected equipment has begun to deteriorate, and just in the nick of time for proper funding.
So far, progress has yielded a ventilation system, four electric kilns, a brand new foundry, a sand pit for casting metal, and even a specific room for mixing glazes, slips, paints, and clay. The ventilation system creates a healthier environment for artists working with dry clay and strong fumes.
This is phase one of the project. Phase two will involve installing two gas kilns into the ceramics workshop, a car kiln for the sculpture facility, and other minor details. The entire project is due to finish during Winter break of this year.
Approval of the renovation was no easy task. It took many staff and management people to draw up plans and pursue the effort for four years. Special acknowledgements should be given to Lisa Nappa (ceramics instructor), Ruban Trahoe (sculpture instructor), Lanny DeVuono (previous Chairman), and Head of Facilities Mike Irish.
Nappa exclaimed, “It’s really exciting for a school this size to have state-of-the-art equipment.”
Where students, staff, and other artists were hampered due to an ill-equipped facility, they may now exceed previous barriers and create the works they see in their dreams.