Columbus State University keeps growing downtown.
Thursday night, CSU will hold a ribbon cutting at its Seaboard Depot Art Studios, a 15,000-square-foot space at the corner of 10th Street and Front Avenue.
The depot will house 18 individual studios for undergraduate art students, six faculty studios, a visiting artist studio and a 450-square-foot gallery for new media projects — as well as space for seminars and partnership projects.
It was an intentional move that the studios will house spaces for undergraduates as well as visiting and resident artists.
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“The department was really looking for a facility to create an environment to create what we called a ‘creative incubator,’” said Joe Sanders, chairman of the university’s department of art.
Proximity should spark creativity — “charge up the professional creative output and professional development of the students and the faculty,” Sanders said.
The Depot building has been owned by CSU Foundation Properties Inc. for several years. Its acquisition and renovation was funded by a 2012 grant from the Mildred Miller Fort Foundation, with contributions from CSU, the department of art and the department of art’s Friends of Art group.
So far, the studios only occupy 7,500 square feet in the building; Sanders said that phase two of renovation, on the building’s lower floor, will begin this year.
Sanders said the studio’s opening is a “next step” in the department’s development, becoming more competitive and more comprehensive.
The studios will also serve the community, with master classes, new media exhibits, family day and more.
“It’s in an incredibly prominent location, so we get a lot of walk-through traffic on that corner,” Sanders said.