Art department unveils new home

Nic Jessen--The Rose Garden chapel reconstructed to house the visual art department and classrooms.

California Baptist University’s Visual Arts program welcomed visitors to their open house.

Visitors examined original artwork, asked questions and admired their new facility now located in the Rose Garden Village Chapel.

During the opening ceremony on Sept. 21, Visual Arts Program Director, Professor Duncan Simcoe, compared the exciting growth of the CBU campus to a Rubik’s Cube. As each piece moves the other pieces adjust accordingly, in order to create a harmonious arrangement.

Discussion of relocation had taken place over the past five years, but became a necessity for 2010. In order to accommodate university growth, the Visual Arts program transferred from the third floor of the James Building, into the Rose Garden Village Chapel, located on the east end of The Village, facing Adams St.

“It simply functions better,” Simcoe said. “The students are very happy with it. They are happy and that makes me happy. The students are what this is all for.”

Currently, there are approximately 25 art majors and minors at CBU, and an estimated 300 students are enrolled in art courses. “Many are pleased with the art department’s new home. “It’s actually a lot more centralized,” visual arts minor, Caleb Hill, said. “All of the classes are held here, and Simcoe’s office is here too.”

Various renovations took place in order to transform a chapel into an art facility. The new department contains two primary art studios, a hall gallery, storage space and an office. Linoleum floors, fresh paint and overhead lighting were among a few of the new installments. The original carpet was torn out, along with traditional church pews.

Minor renovations continue to take place, and plans have been made to replace the stained glass windows with solid wall, in order to produce studio-appropriate lighting.

Simcoe is hopeful for the future of CBU’s Visual Arts program.

“I think we could possibly triple our numbers in the next five years,” he said. “Now that we have a space that can accommodate growth we can begin to publicize more, particularly in local high schools.”

When refurbishments to the Wallace Theatre are completed, the Metcalf Gallery will return to its original location on the second floor.

Simcoe encouraged students to be on the look-out for upcoming shows and art events, such as the annual student art competition, which will take place in mid-November.