House for ceramics, sculpture, woodwork nears completion

By Desiree Sanchez


   The University of the Incarnate Word is adding a fine arts facility for ceramics and sculpture to provide for more space and specialized equipment.

Miguel Cortinas, head of the art department, said the building may be ready by the summer, but class will not take place until the fall. After safety inspections, it’s anticipated Sculpture 1 will be taught by the fall semester.

“Ceramics requires more costly equipment and inspections so it’s not certain the class will be offered in the new facility right away,” Cortinas said.

“That’s the main thing about sculpture and 3D is that we need space and space not just for the object, but to store the material that we are going to build the object with,” said James Borders, an assistant professor of art.

Currently students taking ceramics and sculpture classes are packed into a small classroom with little room to store materials and projects. The increase in students has also made an impact on classes. Because of the loud noises and lack of space, some classes are even being taught outside on the ledge and the courtyard. Students have limited access to the workspace since it is a multipurpose room. The room is used for drawing, color theory, design, and other art classes.

The location of this fine arts facility has some students curious. One student thought the building would be for the athletics department.

“When I saw that construction near the baseball fields, I really thought it would be a new locker room or even another area for concessions,” sophomore Alexandra Huron said.

The new facility will be located between the baseball fields. Because the building will be close to parking, it will be easy to load and unload materials to cars. The residence halls on the hill will be closer to the facility too. Students won’t have to deal with hauling their large sculptures throughout campus.

“Most of that parking out there is student parking. Here it’s Priority so a lot of students can’t park in this area, so it makes transportation of material really difficult,” Cortinas said.

The new facility will include kilns, a small woodshop with ventilation, welders and grinders to add to the creation of the projects. The building will be useful not only for ceramic and sculpture students, but for 3D design students as well.

“Ceramics 1 and Sculpture 1 are all common classes that all art majors in the BFA program have to take and then students who are minoring in art may also end up taking a Sculpture 1 class too,” Cortinas said.

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