Idaho Board of Education approves funds for BSU's Fine Arts Center

Posted at 3:21 PM, Dec 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-15 17:21:47-05

The Idaho State Board of Education has approved up to $32 million in bonds to augment state dollars and private donations paying for the construction of Boise State University’s planned Center for Fine Arts.

The facility will house the University’s Department of Art, a public gallery space, and a high-tech, high-touch World Museum. “The museum will bring arts and treasures from around the globe to Boise through cutting-edge virtual reality and immersive technology,” said BSU spokesman Greg Hahn.

“Today’s decision -- and the generosity of arts and education supporters -- will ensure that Boise State can provide a new centerpiece for Boise’s thriving arts community, not just for our students and faculty, but for Boiseans and Idahoans of all ages,” BSU President Bob Kustra stated. “We’ll welcome all to the building’s public spaces and to the “World Museum,” where visitors can be a part of something new  -- an interactive space powered by technology developed right here on campus. Imagine touring the Louvre in Paris, France; the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.; and the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain -- all in one day.”

The high-tech space is being envisioned as an invaluable experience for younger school children, but it also will provide unique opportunities for collaborations with other local arts institutions and for research and creative activity for Boise State students and faculty, officials said.

The $42 million project will bring all of the Department of Art’s visual art programs -- history of art and visual culture, art metals, art education, ceramics, drawing and painting, graphic design, illustration, photography, printmaking and sculpture -- under one roof. “Nearly 4,000 students take courses through the Department of Art, which currently is spread among several facilities throughout campus with aging studio technologies and safety equipment. The state’s Permanent Building Fund and private philanthropic donations will pay for the remainder of the building’s costs,” Hahn said.

“Providing our students and faculty with the space they need to work together across disciplines is the key to enabling creativity and innovation,” Kustra said. “Not only will the building provide space for the study and practice of the fine arts, it also will be a place for everyone to come for new experiences with art.”