SANTA CLARA, Calif.–Santa Clara University will break ground April 25 on a dramatic new art and art history building that will be the linchpin of a new arts corridor for the University, serving the greater community in Santa Clara.
The groundbreaking for Santa Clara University’s Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building will take place at 1 p.m., April 25, on Franklin Street at the corner of Alviso, directly across from the Alumni Science Building in the north corner of campus.
The building was made possible by a foundational gift of $12 million from real estate investor and financier Ed Dowd, a 1972 Santa Clara University graduate and owner of EMD Properties, Inc., Los Altos. Dowd, who has a passion for collecting and sharing art that he feels has an ability to heal, unify and transcend, previously funded a public-art project at the Mountain View campus of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF).
“It is gratifying to see this building started — a place where art will be created, studied, taught and shared,” said Dowd. “Art has played a powerful role in my life, and I am very pleased that this building will bring such important experiences to so many.”
The technological enhancements, generous studio and gallery space, and flexible features of the building are expected to enable Santa Clara to greatly elevate the role of arts in the University and surrounding community. The building will be a state-of the-art hub for traditional and modern art creation, student and community learning, visiting-artist work and lectures, and a rare oasis of permanence for local artists and art historians.
“This building has been a springboard for us to think vastly differently about what we’re doing in the instruction of the fine arts and history,” said Blake de Maria, chair of the Department of Art and Art History at SCU. “At a time when funding for arts in schools is drying up, and permanent facilities for art are becoming more scarce, the Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History building will fill an important void in the Silicon Valley arts community. This space will accommodate a wide variety of artistic instruction, ranging from black and white photography to 3-D art creation. It is a tremendously exciting time for our students in art history, studio art, engineering and other disciplines, as well as for the worldwide artistic community.”
The building is part of a major redesign of the northwest side of SCU’s campus into a vibrant arts-focused quadrant, and will serve as the signature structure of the University’s north entrance. It will be located near the University’s Louis B. Mayer Theatre, Fess Parker Studio, and Music Recital Hall.
When complete, the new Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building lobby will feature an original piece by world-renowned glass sculptor Dale Chihuly, whose work Dowd also brought to PAMF, spurring a flood of gratitude from patients, doctors, and visitors. Additional sculptures will be on permanent display in an exterior sculpture garden that will be open to the public.
The building and sculpture garden will be adjacent to the Downtown Revitalization area west of Lafayette Street, which Santa Clara city officials are planning for new development in the coming years with residences, retail, and arts attractions. A mixed-use project at Monroe and Franklin streets, the Downtown Gateway project, already is underway and anchors the west end of the Downtown area with 44 condo homes and 14,000 square feet of retail services. The city plans to continue working with developers to connect the burgeoning downtown with the planned new BART station a few blocks away on El Camino Real.
“We are delighted to see this grand building begin construction, creating exciting possibilities for a thriving arts hub in our new downtown,” said Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews.
The new 45,000-square-foot, three-story building will include the following features:
*sculpture and ceramics studios with a tool shop
*a “virtual canvas,” or large-scale digital display to be programmed and maintained by students
*an innovative classroom space, or “Imaginarium,” that will be optimized for display and creation of art in 3-D projection
*a dramatic design, selected by Dowd and funded by the Sobrato Group, featuring a Pantheon-inspired dome crowning the southwest corner of the building
*instructional space for printmaking, drawing, painting, graphic design and digital photography
*technology-rich art history classrooms
*a 1,600-square-foot fine arts gallery, and additional display space to feature works of SCU students, faculty, and visiting artists
*darkroom, film lab, and lighting studios for photography
*a “Makers Foyer,” complete with 3-D printers and other high-tech creative equipment
*a dedicated photo lighting studio and a large artist’s studio for visiting artists
About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 9,000 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering; master’s degrees in business, education, counseling psychology, pastoral ministry, and theology; and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see www.scu.edu.