Murphy Hall, headquarters of Arcadia’s Art and Design program, soon will undergo renovations to upgrade its facilities and space. Through renovations and, possibly, additional construction, the plan could add up to 20,000-square-feet for Art and Design space.
The University hopes to bring the department together in one building, as Art and Design has been sectioned in three different locations on campus (Murphy, Spruance, and Kistler halls; if you bring Theater into the mix, that adds a fourth location, Heinz). It also will serve to upgrade one of Arcadia’s most iconic campus structures.
“Murphy Hall is the second-most beautiful building on campus,” said Bob Mauro, chair of the Art and Design department. “Now there’s an opportunity, in the hands of a talented architect, to take that gem and turn it into a beautiful home for the visual arts.”
The plan, which could begin as early as this summer, would go a long way in upgrading the University’s existing art facilities to ensure safe and appropriate classroom and studio space in addition to providing an efficient and modern area for student-faculty research and student and faculty studios. It also would help provide a location for students to adequately showcase their art, provide more space for visiting artists and for a unified thesis exhibition, help with recruitment and retention, and even provide a proper area to archive the University’s permanent art collection.
“There has always been a spirit to envision a space that would inspire creativity,” said Mauro. “It’s not like building classrooms, because they’re not traditional classrooms. Our students come to class and stay there and work there. It’s a different environment. We want the building to be like a living, breathing gallery.”