Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Marks the Opening of ASU’s Fine Arts Center
Thursday, November 16th, 2017
Albany State University officially opened the new Fine Arts Center, Tuesday, Nov. 14, with lively performances, a tour and two dedications to former ASU professors.
“This advance facility is one to be admired, and we are excited to officially open it to the community,” said ASU President Art Dunning. "The new building supports the University’s commitment to providing a world class education by providing the type of resources that will give students the competitive edge needed to succeed in creative industries. We appreciate our local and state officials who’ve helped to ensure that this building was finally constructed.”
The 80,000 square-foot facility is located on the upper campus, between the Billy C. Black Building and Residence Hall 5. The structure has a $25.1 million estimated total cost and opened fall 2017. The department of Visual and Performing Arts and the department of English, Modern Languages and Mass Communication are housed in the facility.
“Many individuals have supported, guided and worked tirelessly from the very beginning, and today, all the years of dreaming and imagination became a reality,” said Rani George, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities.
“This state-of-the-art learning facility provides students with an undeniable opportunity to learn, grow and successfully tackle everyday curriculum, said LaDiamond Lett, a senior ASU student majoring in theatre. “Each room was skillfully designed to fit the needs of each and every major and educator.”
The structure features multi-purpose instructional spaces, a band room, instrumental and choral rehearsal spaces, art studios, an art gallery and a “black box” theater.
The ribbon cutting ceremony also included the dedication of the Arthur R. Berry Art Gallery and the Leroy E. Bynum, Jr. Recital Hall.
Berry, ASU professor emeritus, founded the ASU art department and served as chair for 21 years. He later directed the Albany Ritz Cultural Center. Berry passed away in 2015 and is remembered nationally, regionally and locally as an acclaimed artist. Berry designed the “Soil to Sun” statue adjacent to the Fine Arts Center.
Bynum is a former faculty member and administrator at ASU, having served 22 years as professor of voice and opera, 10 years as chair of fine arts and 8 years as dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. Under his leadership, the plans for the design and building of the new Fine Arts Center began. Bynum currently performs as an opera tenor for Portland Opera Company, while also serving as dean of arts at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon.
“I can’t wait to show what this building has to offer to our students, to our faculty, to our community, and to Southwest Georgia,” said Marcia Hood, chair of the department of Visual and Performing Arts.
Designed to achieve maximum space and utility, the building incorporates professional offices, 12 classrooms for English and general instruction and eight studio art classrooms. Twelve music studios, a music education classroom with an observation booth and two music labs are also included.