Student Facilities - Brown University
The Department of Visual Art is located in the List Building on the West end of campus. We share the Philip Johnson designed building with the Bell Gallery, the History of Art and Architecture Department,, and the Slide Library. Our sculpture studio, at 4100 square feet, is outfitted for both wood and metal working. The painting studio, 4000 square feet on the 5 th floor, is lit by north facing skylights. Painting students get their own small studios. There is a similar size Printmaking facility on the 3 rd floor, with equipment for relief, intaglio, lithography, and silk- screen. In addition we have large format digital printers capable of printing works 40" wide and several feet long. We have a photo classroom and darkroom facility, two 1400 square feet drawing studios, and a few smaller rooms for independent study studio space. The Bell Gallery, located on the first floor, mounts six shows a year of contemporary artists in both one person and group exhibitions.
When asked what they like the best about the Art Department, Concentrators mention professors, facilities, and equipment, but top on their list is what they express as "freedom". By this they mean not only 24 hour building access, but the opportunities to do interdisciplinary projects and the openness of assignments. "It is what you make of it," says a student in Painting 2. "You can go as far as you want." Brown does not promote a particular "style". Instead, we encourage and aid students in learning whatever they need to make effective and challenging work. Assignments are accompanied by readings selected to generate thought and discussion. Class critique is not done in the classic master/pupil style. Instead, students are encouraged to critique themselves and each other.
In the past several years we have built 3 new facilities: a digital lab, a photography darkroom and classroom, and a Book Arts facility (in the John Hay Library, next door.). In addition, Sculpture Professor Richard Fishman has developed the Tockwotten studio in a former Brown storage warehouse. In this space he runs the "Elm Tree Project", a suite of interdisciplinary studio courses, open to both Brown and students from the Rhode Island School of Design. The courses use wood from trees that have succumbed to Dutch Elm Disease to make furniture, sculpture, drawings, and installation. We have invaded the John Brown House on Benefit Street, using part of the garage for installations, and subverting the grand 19 th century rooms inside the house with sound and video pieces.
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