Except for ceramics and sculpture, our traditional studio courses are all taught on the spacious upper level of the Art Center. The facility, having undergone massive renovations and remodeling is now a state-of-the-art 1700 square foot track lit studio.
The lower level of the Art Center has been renovated into a 1500 square foot digital media lab. For students enrolled in digital media courses – digital photography, new media, graphic design, will be provided with all current technology, printers, scanners, and storage space to make professional level projects. The lower level also houses the Bethel College radio station.
With the assistance and guidance of the Physical Plant, healthy donations by an anonymous donor, the majority of the renovation work and remodeling has been done by the students. We believe it is our mission as artists to make the spaces we work in, not just functional, but spacious and aesthetically pleasing as well. Students who have assisted feel they have taken ownership in their environment and thus, have helped the project grow immensely.
Ceramics is taught in a well equipped facility adjacent to the Art Center. Currently the space holds 15 wheels, and two electric kilns as well as an outdoor raku kiln. Because of extraordinarily high enrollment, the facility will be workable, but undergoing major renovations beginning in the fall semester of 2009. Once completed, Ceramics students will have a maximum of space to complete their works as well as additional kilns and storage.
Sculpture is taught in a separate space within the ceramics facility. A 600 square foot sculpture lab completely equipped with all the tools necessary for the completion of professional level sculptures was recently created. The focus in our sculpture program is in wood and alternative media sculptures, as well as outdoor public sculpture. When not in the throes of our beautiful Michiana winters, many students work in the designated outdoor spaces adjacent to the sculpture workshop.
Weaver Art Gallery
Our Weaver Art Gallery is located in the Everest-Rohrer Chapel/Fine Arts Center. Because of its location next to Chapel, the Weaver Gallery is a highly trafficked area.
Since 1996 the Weaver Art Gallery has hosted several solo exhibitions of nationally renowned artists, thematic group exhibitions such as Cross-Country, a biennial national competition, and Christians in the Visual Arts Traveling Juried Exhibitions. The Bethel College art students, the college and general off campus community all benefit from the witness to quality visual art. Most recently contemporary artists Heath Yenna and John Lambert displayed their newest works. In the fall there is also an annual faculty exhibition.
The Weaver Art Gallery hosts annual spring juried art exhibitions displaying the best work produced from students on campus. The capstone for all senior visual arts majors is the thesis exhibition. All senior Visual Arts Majors, regardless of their concentration, display their senior thesis projects in the Weaver Gallery in the spring semester.
The Art Department throughout the academic year invites visiting artists to come to our art department for lectures, workshops and Weaver Gallery talks. Students are required to attend these guest professional educational visits. In the fall of 2007, visiting artist Paul Flickinger gave guest lectures on public sculpture and environmentally friendly sculpture. He and the sculpture students, with the assistance of visiting Professor John Lambert, began work on a public sculpture of a refreshed Bethel Helm put in dynamic motion. This project will be completed by August 2008.