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Published 8/18/2003
Owens Community College Dedicates New Center for Fine and Performing Arts

Owens Community College Board of Trustees Chair, Jack T. Sculfort, speaks to guests during the grand opening gala for the new Center for Fine and Performing Arts. Owens Community College raised the curtain on its new Center for Fine and Performing Arts with a grand opening gala event titled, "Bringing the Arts Alive" as the College recently celebrated the facility's debut performance.

The College's new $11 million Center opens its doors to students for Fall Semester classes on Monday, August 25 and houses 19 new degree and certificate program areas. Among the new academic program offerings available to students are Commercial Art, Dance, Fine Art, Interior Design, Music, Photography and Theatre.

"The establishing of the Fine and Performing Arts curriculum is a continuation of Owens' long and proud tradition of making a difference in students' lives," said Dr. Paul Unger, Provost of Owens Community College. "These new programs culminate the College's transition into a comprehensive community college and provide educational opportunities for area residents aspiring to be future musicians, artists, dancers, performers and photographers."

Owens Community College officials brought the arts to life with the unveiling of an awe-inspiring "Owens Rings" suspended glass sculpture to begin the evening's festivities. Created by world-renowned artist Ray King of Philadelphia, the "Owens Rings" feature a series of six, tapered metal rings, which take advantage of the abundant sunlight in the Center's rotunda. The conical design formed by the tapered circular shapes is loosely inspired by the Owens Community College logo.

"Owens Community College's new Center for Fine and Performing Arts is a welcome addition to our campus community and the Northwest Ohio region," said Christa Adams, Ph.D., President of Owens Community College. "The opening of such an impressive facility, dedicated to liberal instruction, will significantly impact this College's ability to further support the educational needs of our students with enriched learning opportunities."

President Adams added, "A rich resource to both Owens students and area residents, the Center appeals to an assortment of interests and offers a range of cultural events that will bring the arts alive."

Following the unveiling of the "Owens Rings" glass sculpture, the Walter E. Terhune Art Exhibition Gallery revealed an interactive art installation entitled, "Experiential Extremism". Created by Elaine Lillios and Bonnie Mitchell, the art exhibit used visual and sonic events that controlled emotional and physical responses. The overall mindset of the project was to explore the concept of extremism in today's society, focusing on the aspects that entice people to gravitate to thrill seeking activities.

Attendees also had the opportunity to take private tours and view demonstrations highlighting the varied capabilities and important features of the new complex. Art gallery exhibits, drawing demonstrations, interior design displays and a photography exhibit were just a few of the many interactive events that occurred throughout the evening.

The Center's Mainstage Theatre offered a breathtaking performance that was a true representation of the arts coming to life. The Performance included originally composed music and choreography. Professional actors and actresses, as well as local community arts organizations and Owens faculty members were involved with the event.

Highlights of the 74,396 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility also include a 500-seat theatre, 50-seat music hall and studio theatre, student exhibit galleries, art and design studios for graphic design, commercial art, painting, ceramics and sculpture, as well as acoustic laboratories for the instruction of dance, piano, vocal and instrumental music, and practice rooms.

The new Center, which was designed by The Collaborative Inc. of Toledo, architecturally features a sculptural shape, with geometrical curves and cylindrical elements highlighted throughout the building. Rudolph Libbe Inc. of Walbridge served as the General Contractor for the new state-of-the-art facility and also was the General Contractor for Owens' Student Health and Activities Center completed August 2000. Rudolph Libbe Companies is the largest privately held construction firm in Ohio.

Owens' Center for Fine and Performing Arts is the final structure of the Galleria Complex, which began in 1996 and includes the Library, Audio/Visual Classroom Center, Math/Science Center and the Student Health and Activities Center.

Owens Community College is the fastest-growing higher educational institution in Northwest Ohio with 25 consecutive semesters of enrollment increases. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 38,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for new college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor 's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.


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