New Art Studio Wing Dedicated at Susquehanna University
Published on November 2, 2012
Susquehanna University recently celebrated the opening of a new art studio wing named for Gus and Jenny Rose Carey and their daughter, Janet, a senior studio art major. The new studio space and enhanced student workspaces were praised during a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Art Studio Building on Oct. 23.
Valerie Martin, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and associate provost, who hosted the event, called it a day “to celebrate art and honor the Careys for their shared vision and partnership in making this additional space a reality for the art department students and Susquehanna.”
The north wing of the building, designed for teaching advanced drawing and painting, was added in 2008 thanks to support from the Degenstein Foundation. The newly opened south wing, made possible by the Careys’ generosity, provides students with additional classroom and studio space, complete with moveable walls for creating and displaying student work. Foundations, painting, drawing and printmaking are taught in the building.
“The art major was first established back in 1988,” said Martin, “and since then, art has grown into a dynamic department offering a range of major and minor programs that blend theory and practice.”
The one thing that didn’t keep pace was the space, explained Assistant Professor of Art Ann Piper, who leads Susquehanna’s studio art program. “Dedicated studio space is important for many reasons,” she said. “For one, artistic inspiration is a myth. You have to log a lot of hours.” Inspiration “comes when it comes,” Piper added, and students need to have the space to create when it does.
In 2009, Susquehanna outlined three top priorities for its studio artists. “We determined that students needed more opportunities to see art in person, to talk and learn from practicing artists, and more space for students to do their work,” Martin said during the ceremony. “Gus and Jenny Carey’s generosity led to advancement in all three of these areas. Today, we recognize them specifically for the addition of this new art studio wing. We are honored and privileged to be the recipient of their generosity and vision for the future of art at Susquehanna University.”
As a senior, Janet Carey is experiencing firsthand the impact of her parents’ gift. “The creation of this new piece of our growing art program is extremely exciting not only for the school as an institution, but for the school as a continual family of students,” Janet said. “Even when we are no longer here, this new addition will remain and house many talented young minds, allowing them to grow and learn as the progressive future of the art world.”
Jenny Rose Carey pointed to their family’s long history in academia as motivation for their support of Susquehanna. “We firmly believe in the power of education. It’s not just about our kids. It’s about providing all students with the opportunity to see and appreciate art.” Considering the cuts being made in high school art programs, Jenny Rose said college may be the first chance some students have to really explore art. Gus Carey added that the space gives students of all majors more opportunities to explore “the creative outlet art can be.”
During the ceremony, President L. Jay Lemons reflected on the university’s founding in 1858, noting that its founders called the then-new institution a “mustard seed,” referencing the parable of the mustard seed found in the Bible. A mustard seed was also planted with the establishment of the art major in 1988, Lemons said. Speaking to the Careys, he added: “Thank you for the commitment you have made to future generations of Susquehanna students. May this mustard seed grow into something particularly special.”