Welcoming Horvitz HallGAMBIER, Ohio (October 23, 2012)
When Horvitz Hall opened its doors at the start of the fall semester, Kenyon art students and their professors gaped and marveled, then settled in and made themselves at home. Now it's everyone else's turn to discover the superb studio-art facilities in the College's newest building.
As part of the dedication festivities for Horvitz Hall, the art program is holding an open house for the entire campus community. All are welcome to tour the building on Thursday, October 25, from 5:00 to 7:00. Students will be working on projects, and professors will be on hand to show visitors the studios, classrooms, and equipment. The evening includes live music and a wine and cheese reception.
Horvitz Hall brings together, for the first time in the academic core of the campus, all of the artistic media taught at Kenyon. Where the studio art program once was dispersed in four buildings on the northern fringe of campus, it now has a state-of-the-art home just a short walk from the library, the science quad, Sunset Cottage, and the Graham Gund Gallery.
The name of the building recognizes the generosity of David Horvitz '74 H'98, who with his wife, the artist Francie Bishop Good, made a gift of $11.5 million for the facility as part of the recent "We Are Kenyon" campaign. The building was designed by Graham Gund '63, and serves as a companion to the Graham Gund Gallery, which provides exhibition space and facilities for the art history program.
"Horvitz Hall makes a decisive difference," said President S. Georgia Nugent. "It serves the entire College, because so many of our students seek expression through the arts, and so many other fields intersect with them."
Professor of Art Gregory Spaid, who as provost played a role in planning new art facilities, said: "Kenyon had never before designed a building specifically for all of the studio arts we teach. With this building and the Graham Gund Gallery, we can now say: Kenyon is completely invested in the visual arts."
On three levels, Horvitz Hall has studios and classrooms for painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography, installation art, and digital art. Facilities range from a professional-quality lighting studio to an audio lab for video and animation projects. Expansive windows bring in the diffuse north light that artists prize. Exhibitions and receptions can be held in a lobby/gallery space inside the main entrance, and the lower-level sculpture area opens onto a spacious patio in the rear of the building.
In planning the building, the art faculty and Gund's architectural firm, the Gund Partnership, made safety a central concern. Safety features in Horvitz Hall range from specialized ventilation and dust-control equipment, to emergency shut-off switches in areas with dangerous machinery, to easy-to-use eyewash stations, to rooftop "strobic fans" that disperse fumes.
The dedication also includes private events on Friday for Kenyon trustees—who will be on campus for their fall meeting—and for the donors who contributed to specific spaces in the building.