Center for the Visual Arts

The Center for the Visual Arts, the new home of Kent State University’s School of Art, celebrated its grand opening on May 6, 2016. It combines two existing buildings (Van Deusen Hall and the Art Annex/Power House). Through repurposed and new construction, the building unified the college’s studio, classroom and gallery spaces, which were located in various buildings across campus, under one roof for the first time in over 50 years. The facility includes more than 115,000 square-feet of space that provides access to the range of media, resources and expertise that have distinguished the school for tradition, innovation and technologies.

This LEED Silver-Certified building features: wifi connectivity throughout, flat-screen visual access in classrooms and studios, multimedia access and resources in the Visual Resources Center and digital labs, plus a fabrication studio for 3-D printing, water-jet cutting and other technologies now available to all advanced students.

The Center for the Visual Arts’ studios have transparent walls to highlight its 24/7 activity, and celebrates its location at a campus cross-roads by emphasizing processes as well as products of student and faculty work. The main gallery, as well as two formal student galleries, occupy a welcoming central lobby and offer exhibitions of today’s art for the campus and Kent communities. The galleries also feature the school’s collections which provide unique first-hand learning opportunities for Kent State students. Informal exhibition and critique spaces for learning are interspersed across the complex of spaces.

Classrooms and studios to support undergraduate and graduate programs in art education offer a secure, monitored environment for after-school and weekend art classes for children in the community. The fully-equipped multi-media lecture hall, which seats 200, provides opportunities for presentations aimed at larger audiences. A medium-sized classroom, and a series of smaller classrooms for art history and art appreciation classes, are outfitted for best-quality image presentation and flexibility.

The building’s innovative design is the work of Cleveland’s Payto Architects Inc.

Our thanks to the generous donors who helped make the Center for the Visual Arts a reality:

Linda Allard
James M. (Mel) Someroski Jewelry/Metals/Enameling Studios
American Greetings Foundation
American Greetings Conference Room
Ben and Carlyn Bassham
The Elmer L. Novotny Critique Area
The Dr. Richard S. Trump Critique Area
John Crawford
The Crawford Gallery
Christine Havice
Alumni Visual Resource Center
Family, Friends and Former Students of Thompson Lehnert
The Thompson Lehnert Graduate Studio
Linda and Jack Lissauer, MD
The Professor Michael Loderstedt Critique Area
Friends of the School of Art and Craig Lucas
The Craig Lucas Graduate Studio
Linda McDonald, Ph.D.
3D Printer
Kate Medicus
The Ginger Vaughan Conference Room
Gerald and Christie Payto
Payto Student Gallery
Raymond Enio Penza School Conference Room
George and Susan Schroeder
Undergraduate Studio in Memory of Robert E. Morrow
Andrea E. Senich and Claudia Bjerre
The Seven Five Fund Photography Lab