Windgate Foundation's $40 million to create UA art and design district | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Windgate Foundation's $40 million to create UA art and design district

Posted By on Wed, Dec 13, 2017 at 11:59 AM

click to enlarge windgate-foundation-sign-logo.png

The University of Arkansas announced today a gift of $40 million from the Windgate Charitable Foundation of Siloam Springs to expand the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences Hill Avenue Sculpture Complex as the Windgate Art and Design District.

The gift will allow the university to build new art and design classrooms, studio space and "potential new gallery space" near Martin Luther King Boulevard and Hill Avenue. It follows the $120 million gift from the Walton Charitable Foundation to the university to renovate its Fine Arts Center and substantially beef up the UA's art education within a new School of Art.

The university is doubling its art programming budget over the next five years, representing another $16 million investment above its previous arts budget. That all adds up to $166 million invested in arts education and creation in Fayetteville.

The announcement, from Jeanne Hulen, interim director of the School of Art, follows:

Dear Alumni and Friends,

I have amazing news to share – thanks to a dedicated supporter of the arts we will soon begin development on a new art and design district in the heart of south Fayetteville!

We are incredibly grateful to the Windgate Charitable Foundation and for its tremendous $40 million gift which will create the new Windgate Art and Design District.

This exciting project, to be developed near Martin Luther King Boulevard and Hill Avenue, will expand on our J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences School of Art’s Hill Avenue Sculpture Complex that opened in 2016.

It will feature several new facilities for art and design classrooms, labs, studios and a potential public gallery space that will serve as a central hub for all creative endeavors of student and faculty artists and designers at the university and beyond.

The Windgate Charitable Foundation has already made a significant impact on the School of Art, and this latest gift is actually the largest single grant awarded by the foundation in its 25-year history.

The foundation's past support provided crucial funding that enabled art faculty to expand curricula, improve teaching techniques, fund opportunities for student travel, enhance technologies, procure new equipment and develop new facilities. As a result, the number of our art history, art education, graphic design and studio art majors increased significantly.

By providing art and design students with the resources necessary for synthesis, the Windgate Charitable Foundation is helping the School of Art cultivate invested faculty and creative thinkers and leaders committed to inventive problem solving through art and design.

Together, we are establishing the groundwork for future growth that will directly empower the local and national art and design community and have a resounding positive effect on the culture of the entire state and beyond.

On behalf of our current and future students, faculty, staff and alumni of the School of Art, we extend our most sincere thanks and appreciation to the Windgate Charitable Foundation.

Please join us in this celebratory news, share it and get involved!

Visit art.uark.edu to learn more and stay in touch,

Jeannie Hulen
The Windgate Charitable Foundation's contributions to the arts in Arkansas is substantial: It provided UA Little Rock a grant of $20.3 million to build the Windgate Center of Art + Design that will open next month, $15.5 million to UA Fort Smith for its Windgate Art & Design Building and $15 million to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art for education. Windgate has made substantial gifts to the Arkansas Arts Center to pay curator salaries and toward its upcoming expansion, UA Pulaski Tech for its Center for the Humanities and the Arts and the Thea Foundation for its A+ educational endeavor and other programming. In a separate announcement of the gift, the university detailed other information about Windgate giving:

In 2014, the Foundation gave more than $2 million to the former Department of Art, providing crucial funding that enabled faculty to expand curricula, improve teaching techniques, fund opportunities for student travel, enhance technologies and procure new equipment,” Shields explained.

The school used $500,000 of this gift in combination with $8 million from the university to build the School of Art’s sculpture facility. Architects from Modus Studio in Fayetteville and El Dorado Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri, designed the building, which houses studio classrooms and shops for sculpture, the school’s wood shop and advanced technology lab, graduate student studios and classroom space for the school’s freshman foundation classes.

Shields said that as a result of the opportunities and new facilities these funds created the number of art history, art education, graphic design and studio art majors increased significantly.
The full release is on the jump.

Transformative Gift Allows U of A to Expand Local Art and Design District

Windgate Charitable Foundation gives $40 million to expand art student studio space, create new facilities and engage community.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas is pleased to announce a transformational $40 million gift to Campaign Arkansas from the Windgate Charitable Foundation that will create the new Windgate Art and Design District in the heart of south Fayetteville.

The Windgate Art and Design District will expand on the School of Art’s Hill Avenue sculpture complex that opened in 2016.

The district will be developed close to campus, near Martin Luther King Boulevard and Hill Avenue. It will feature several new buildings for art and design classrooms, labs, studios and potentially a public gallery space. The district will bring together art, design and education, while serving as the central hub for the student and faculty artists and designers at the University of Arkansas and beyond.

“This is a tremendous step forward,” said Chancellor Joseph E. Steinmetz. “Through this partnership with the Windgate Charitable Foundation, the University of Arkansas will be able to achieve nationally competitive standing in the arts, which will in turn place the state of Arkansas on the map as one of the most innovative leaders in the global arts community.

“As a land-grant institution, we are charged with serving the public interest through outreach,” he added. “Thanks to the Windgate Charitable Foundation’s generosity, we will now be able to do this for our community in an unprecedented way. We thank the Windgate Charitable Foundation for this amazing gift.”

The Windgate Art and Design District will further expand the reach and scope of the university’s School of Art, which was established in August 2017 thanks to a $120 million gift from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation. The School of Art in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences is the first and only accredited, collegiate school of art in the state of Arkansas.

“The Windgate Foundation is proud to partner with the new School of Art and to help it and our state's entire arts community continue to grow,” said John E. Brown, executive director of the Windgate Charitable Foundation. “Our board strives to develop and support the arts in many states, and the Windgate Art and Design District will be an outstanding example of the foundation's highest ideals for the arts and education. In fact, this commitment is the largest single grant awarded by the foundation in our 25-year history."

Robyn Horn, board member of the Windgate Charitable Foundation, said she also believes the spaces in the Windgate Art and Design District will provide the opportunity to engage the community with programming that is free, open and accessible to the public.

“The studio and design space will serve as key components to the Windgate Art and Design District and will invite the community to engage with School of Art faculty, students and international arts programs,” she said.

The Windgate Charitable Foundation has already made a significant impact on the School of Art, said Todd Shields, dean of the Fulbright College.

“In 2014, the Foundation gave more than $2 million to the former Department of Art, providing crucial funding that enabled faculty to expand curricula, improve teaching techniques, fund opportunities for student travel, enhance technologies and procure new equipment,” Shields explained.

The school used $500,000 of this gift in combination with $8 million from the university to build the School of Art’s sculpture facility. Architects from Modus Studio in Fayetteville and El Dorado Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri, designed the building, which houses studio classrooms and shops for sculpture, the school’s wood shop and advanced technology lab, graduate student studios and classroom space for the school’s freshman foundation classes.

Shields said that as a result of the opportunities and new facilities these funds created the number of art history, art education, graphic design and studio art majors increased significantly.

“With the Windgate Charitable Foundation’s help our students achieved higher levels of performance and became more competitive,” Shields said. “We are incredibly grateful for the continued support and cannot wait to see the amazing impact this next phase of our partnership will have.”

All of this growth directly contributed to the department’s natural evolution into a school, said Jeannie Hulen, associate dean of fine arts for Fulbright College and former chair of the department of art.

“Thanks to the Windgate Charitable Foundation, we were able to give sculpture a state-of-the-art, nationally competitive facility,” Hulen said. “By providing art and design students with the resources necessary for synthesis, as well as guidance from invested faculty, the School of Art is able to cultivate creative thinkers and leaders committed to inventive problem solving through art and design.”

Hulen said the creation of the Windgate Art and Design District will free up space in the university’s Fine Arts Center, which will help the School of Art develop planned graduate programs in art education and art history.

“The Northwest Arkansas region, as well as the state and nation, require significant investment in arts education, so this latest gift from the Windgate Charitable Foundation will help the University of Arkansas become a catalyst for that change,” Hulen said.

Additionally, Hulen said the school plans to capitalize on the growth of the visual arts in the region to further enhance the university’s partnership with nearby Bentonville-based Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

“Together, we are establishing the groundwork for future growth that will directly empower the local and national art and design community and have a resounding positive effect on the culture of the entire state,” she said.

For more information about the Windgate Art and Design District or the School of Art, please visit art.uark.edu.

Tags: , ,


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • Two more deaths at Arkansas prisons

    The Department of Correction reported Sunday the deaths of an inmate at Brickeys, the East Arkansas Regional unit of the Department of Correction, and an inmate at the Varner unit in Grady, both in single-man cells, within 12 hours of one another.
    • May 21, 2018
  • 3rd Friday in Argenta means Art Walking

    There's new public art in Argenta that celebrates the North Little Rock's once-hated, now-embraced moniker "Dogtown." The sculpture was designed by Terry Bean and fabricated of steel. The Argenta Arts Foundation provided the photo above, plus information on tonight's art offerings, 5-8 p.m. on Main Street:
    • May 18, 2018
  • Walton grant creates Delta youth program

    The Delta Cultural Center in Helena/West Helena will offer a yearlong program for youth, the DCC Arts and Cultural Education Program, thanks to a grant from the Walton Family Foundation.
    • May 18, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation