New high-tech visual arts center opens as creativity center for MMC students • Art and Art History • Marymount Manhattan College

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  • A common space bathed in natural light invites students and faculty to gather and discuss projects and ideas.

  • Students have extra space and state-of-the-art equipment to think critically and act creatively.

  • The center was made possible by a $25 million gift from the Carson Family Charitable Trust, which will also support scholarships.

  • The additional space and state-of-the-art equipment pave the way for expanded program offerings.

  • The center’s digital immersion project space showcases time-based media arts.

  • The design of the center reflects input from stakeholders across the College, including students and faculty.

This semester, when MMC students are encouraged to think critically and act creatively, they will have a new, state-of-the-art home to bring their visions to life. The College has officially opened the doors to its Judith Mara Carson Center for Visual Arts, a stunning 12,000 square foot space it began building in June 2021. Classes will be held there beginning September 6.

The center will serve as an interdisciplinary creative hub that brings together the College’s full range of visual arts, from graphic design, illustration and animation to costume design, web design and book design. . Housed on the eighth floor and part of the seventh floor of Carson Hall, it offers members of the MMC community a versatile space to create, collaborate and present work, as well as access to high-tech equipment.

Among other things, the center has a digital laboratory and specially equipped computers and laser cutters to support the disciplines of photography, illustration, animation, graphics and studio practice. ; a digital immersion project space to showcase time-based media art; a resource library and study center; and studio and review spaces. The facility also allows the College to better engage the public and host famous artists and designers with a thriving multi-purpose common space for screenings, events and community programming.

The center was made possible by a $25 million gift from the Carson Family Charitable Trust. The donation, the largest in the College’s 85-year history, will also support scholarships. A well-known champion of arts and culture in New York City, Judy Carson graduated from MMC in 2003 with a degree in art history.

“We remain deeply grateful to Judy and Russ Carson and the Carson Family Charitable Trust for their historic and transformational investment,” said President Kerry Walk. “The Judith Mara Carson Center for Visual Arts is where the next great visual artists will develop their creative practice, where collaboration across the College will drive innovation, and where some of the city’s most important conversations about visual arts and the impact that creative output of all kinds has on strengthening our communities.

The facility was designed by award-winning architects DSK | Dewing Schmid Kearns, and the project was managed by Christian Jesselli, MMC’s capital projects manager, who described the center as a “beacon for the College and the wider community.”

“From the start, faculty members from across the College were involved in the design process and our staff designed a student survey from the start, so we got a lot of feedback,” said Beth Shipley, First Principal. from the Judith Mara Carson Center. for the Visual Arts and Associate Professor of Art. “We also hired alumni. We had many brainstorming sessions with various stakeholders. »

As a result, the center’s goals – to stimulate intersection and collaboration, to promote the fusion of creative and critical practices, and to foster a sense of community – are embedded in its very architecture. The flexible classrooms and meeting spaces are framed by glass walls, with a glass roof allowing for abundant natural light. “You can see into different classrooms as you walk past, so there’s a sense of transparency, openness and connection — all things we strive for in our program,” Shipley said.

Plus, the added space and state-of-the-art equipment pave the way for expanded program offerings, including a new sculpting course and a more comprehensive engraving program. The art department recently announced the launch of a new BFA, a longtime goal made possible by the center, the faculty said.

“In the past, we told students to keep things we call easel size due to space constraints, but their imaginations can really soar with the new center,” said Hallie Cohen, professor d’art and director of the Hewitt Gallery of MMC. Art. “Research and imaginative living will both be well supported by this space.”

The Judith Mara Carson Center for Visual Arts will hold an open house on October 22, during Homecoming Weekend. For more information, email [email protected]

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