The building with no name

Kevin Mitchell / Washburn Review

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”  

The Art Building, in this Shakespearian sense, is much like a nameless flower. While other buildings on campus are graced with the names of prominent Washburn benefactors (Whiting Field House), former administrators (Henderson Learning Resources Center) and alumni (Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center), The Art Building stands alone, nameless. The Art Building went through its conceptual and planning stages in early 2002. A plan to raise $4 million to build a free-standing art building was announced Oct. 28, 2002.

“This building is designed specifically for art purposes,” said Glenda Taylor, chair of the art department. “It’s a healthier, safer building.”

Taylor said that she and other art professors were included in the design process, which helped the art building be designed to fit the needs of faculty, staff and students. The building opened for the fall 2005 semester at the tail end of a rash of new construction on campus that included the opening of the Living Learning Center, a $4.3-million renovation to Moore Bowl, the building of The Washburn Village and the construction of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. It is the newest building on campus.

The facility includes labs for print making, sculpture, design and a Mac computer lab with design and animation software. There are also kilns for pottery and sculpture as well as an outside work area.

Inside the nameless art building resides a variety of work by students. The Art Building houses Washburn’s Senior Art Exhibitions. All students who attempt to receive a bachelor of fine arts degree must have a senior exhibition. Currently, the featured senior artist is Jarred Payne. Allison Varney and KariAnn Wootan have been previously featured. Ann Degenhardt and Sandra McCann will also have exhibitions. The various exhibitions will be on display until May 7.

The Art Building not only features the work of students, but traveling displays as well.

It may not have a name, but for what the Art Building is lacking with niceties it makes up for in style. The Art Building always has something to display, a fact not lost on Taylor.

“I’d encourage all students to come here and look at the exhibitions,” said Taylor. “We’re open to everyone, not just art majors.”