Eastern Michigan University awarded $2.2 million grant from Windgate Foundation for proposed 3D Arts Complex

Architectural rendering of the 3D Arts Complex
An architectural rendering of the proposed 3D Arts Complex on EMU's campus.

EMU School of Art & Design lockup logoYPSILANTI --  The Eastern Michigan University School of Art and Design is preparing for the next stage of its evolution thanks to a $2.2 million grant from the Windgate Foundation. The funds will be utilized as part of a matching gift agreement with the University to construct a new 3D Arts Complex in the the School of Art and Design on the University’s campus in Ypsilanti.

The overall plan for the new 3D Arts Complex is subject to approval by the Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents, which will consider the recommendation at its June 10, 2021, meeting.

Windgate Foundation logoThe new 3D Arts Complex is designed to advance opportunities in several arts disciplines by providing a dynamic new and expanded space that establishes a collaborative, creative environment for artmaking. Programs to be housed in the new facility include: sculpture, ceramics, furniture design, digital fabrication, 3D design, and metalsmithing. Currently, these programs are spread across several campus buildings.

The 3D Arts Complex will primarily serve general education and 3D media studio art students. The new facility will provide highly functional studio space as well as offices for faculty. The estimated 13,000 sq. ft. facility will be constructed on the northwest corner of campus as part of the University’s current Sculpture Studio. It is scheduled for completion in 2023.

Aerial rendering of proposed 3D Arts Complex
See a gallery of architectural renderings for the proposed complex to be constructed as part of the University's current Sculpture Studio.

“This is an outstanding opportunity to expand the University’s footprint in the 3D arts world with an exciting, dynamic and highly functional space that will bring together many disciplines in a creative environment,” said Eastern Michigan University President James Smith. “We are most grateful to the Windgate Foundation for supporting the vision and extensive planning for the new complex under the fine leadership of School of Art and Design Director Sandra Murchison.”

Eastern Michigan University’s School of Art and Design began as the “art department,” and became known as the art school in 2016 as the school was in the process of earning accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). The School of Art and Design has been an institutional member of NASAD since 2017. 

“This project has been a point of conversation and careful analysis for years now across campus and of course within the School of Art and Design,” said Professor Murchison. “This major building expansion project will unify the 3D Media concentration in a fine facility that allows for an integration in processes and expertise. The building will be an exemplary space to provide opportunities for innovative work from an art school that is truly dedicated to making well crafted and meaningful artworks.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 16,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

About Windgate Foundation

The Windgate Foundation awards grants to non-profit public charities in the United States. The Windgate Foundation focuses its support on: significant educational programs in contemporary craft and visual arts, programs providing visual arts, art education, or effective instructional support to K-12 schools, and higher education institutional support for visual arts and scholarships.

May 12, 2021

Written by:
Walter Kraft

Walter Kraft