New 3D Arts Complex at Eastern Michigan University’s one step closer thanks to new $1 million gift from Windgate Foundation

A rendering of the proposed 3D Arts Complex
(Conceptual rendering/not final)

YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University has received $1 million in additional funding from the Windgate Foundation to help construct a new 3D Arts Complex in the School of Art and Design on campus in Ypsilanti. This new gift comes after a $2.2 million investment from the Foundation last year. The funds are part of a challenge grant and matching gift agreement between the Foundation and the University. Eastern’s new 3D Arts Complex is representative of the University's strategic mission to promote student success and engagement.

“The Windgate Foundation and EMU matching grant, along with the initial matching grant, will allow our students and faculty the opportunity to work in one unified 3D Arts Complex,” said EMU Professor and Director of the School of Art and Design Sandra Murchison. “The new space will offer sufficient cross-over between disciplines to create the types of mixed media works that we aim to teach our students to craft,” she added.

The new 3D Arts Complex is designed to advance opportunities in several arts disciplines by providing a new and expanded space that establishes a collaborative, creative environment for artmaking. The new facility will house the following programs: sculpture, ceramics, furniture design, digital fabrication, 3D design, and metalsmithing. Currently, these programs operate in several buildings across campus.

Additionally, the Complex will welcome students of all ages and skill sets to enhance partnerships with organizations such as the Riverside Arts Center in offering summer workshops to Washtenaw County residents. Teachers from across the state will also be able to participate in a summer institute led by EMU Art Education faculty to refresh and expand on their skills in the studios.

The estimated 24,000 sq. ft. facility will be constructed on the northwest corner of campus as a major expansion to the University’s current Sculpture Studio. It is scheduled for completion by the end of 2023.

To date, the Windgate Foundation has gifted EMU’s School of Art and Design $3.2 million and has once again committed to matching $200,000 if the University raises that amount by April 30, 2023. The estimated expense for the 3D Arts Complex is $7.5 million. 

“It has been a genuine thrill to see this dream evolve into reality for the School of Art and Design and the EMU community,” said Murchison.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 15,000 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.

May 18, 2022

Written by:
Melissa Thrasher

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher