Ford music hall considered for solving studio space

By Alyssa Sperrazza, News Editor

The need for artistic space sparked the discussion for potential renovations at Ford Music Hall.  Lack of studio space has left many art majors frustrated, trying to put together art shows in cramped rooms. 

“The art department is already small with all the different courses offered,” senior art and graphic design double major, Zachary Trosper said. 

“My show showcased large scale charcoal drawings one in which I created a couple of weeks before the show. The pressure to finish it in one day instead of having to move it multiple times was felt for sure. I used the art classrooms back corner to work on it. This is where I also stored my big pieces two days before the show to keep it all together.

This was not desirable because all students go through this classroom and there was the danger of one of my pieces getting damaged,” he said.

Hearing the difficulties that art students are facing, OBU is working to fix the problem concerning lack of space. 

“Ford Music Hall is part of the Vision for a New Century Capital Campaign,” dean of the college of Fine Arts, Christopher Matthews said. “As such, our Board of Trustees, administration, university family has recognized the importance of the facility for our campus and has committed to its renovations so that it may continue serving our students for decades to come.”

Ford Music Hall, usually known to students as the building full of pianos, will be the focal point of renovations for studio space. 

FordHallArtStudioPRESTONMORRIS4“I had the privilege of beginning my role as dean of the college of Fine Arts as the push to renovate Ford Music Hall received renewed focus,” Matthews said. 

“Because one of my core goals for our college is collaboration, I began talking with our leadership and faculty about making Ford Music Hall a place where students from across our disciplines can hone their skills and learn from one another.”

Primarily known as a building for music students, expanding Ford Music Hall to house more artistic skills will help decrease the need for studio space that many art majors are facing.

In his vision for Ford Music Hall, Matthews said,

“Ford Music Hall will be transformed into a space bustling with creative activity; where art students paint, animation students design, and music students compose; where ensembles rehearse and record; where chamber concerts and art shows are offered to the public; where a short film could be created by a student incorporating original music composed, performed, and recorded by fellow students down the hall or in the floor above.”

The need for space can be seen as a positive, showing that more and more students are contributing in the fine arts majors and the departments are continually growing. 

“Adding more space for studio work would be great and allow for more creativity and bigger work to be created,” Trosper said.

“I think every design/art program wants to continue to grow and or be cutting edge so it’s disheartening when the lack of space hinders that,” he said.

OBU faculty and staff work hard to ensure students are well-equipped in all their academic pursuits. 

The idea of renovating Ford Music Hall to fit students’ needs is gradually being recognized. 

“Over the past several months, this idea has gained momentum and together, we are working hard on the detailed plans as well as seeking donors who will help us achieve our goal,” Matthews said.

“I hope when we do, that it will be hard to find a free space in Ford where College of Fine Arts students are not busy at their crafts, rubbing shoulders, laughing, and creating together. “

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