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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 15, 2006

Note: This news release was revised on Aug. 24, 2006

UI School Of Art And Art History Will Dedicate New Building Sept. 8

Art Building West (ABW), the new building of the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History that was designed by internationally renowned architect Steven Holl, will be dedicated Friday, Sept. 8.

The dedication ceremony will be at 4 p.m. in the Auditorium, 240 ABW. Featured speakers will be Dorothy Johnson, director of the School of Art and Art History; UI Interim President Gary Fethke; Lynette Marshall, president of the UI Foundation; Regent Amir Arbisser; Dean Linda Maxson of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; architect Steven Holl; and UI art students Aaron Richardson and Heidi Kraus.

From 1:30 to 3 p.m. in 240 ABW, the School of Art and Art History will present "Fuzzy Edges: Between Art and Architecture," a symposium featuring Holl; sculptor and installation artist Vito Acconci, who is a graduate of the UI Writers' Workshop; Michael Bell, associate professor of architecture at Columbia University; and sculptor Richard Artschwager, who site-specific sculpture will be installed on the terrace overlooking the pond next to ABW.

Both the symposium and the dedication ceremony are open to the public, free of charge. Public parking will be available in lots adjacent to Hancher Auditorium and the Theatre Building.

The dedication of the new building coincides with "100 Years of Art at Iowa," a celebration of a century of instruction in the visual arts at the UI. As part of the celebration, there will be an "Online Auction Benefit Exhibition" of art by faculty of the School of Art and Art History. Artworks can be viewed and bids placed through the school's Web page,, from 3:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25, through 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25.

The faculty artworks available for purchase will be shown in the gallery space of ABW. The gallery will be open to the public free of charge, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and noon to 5 p.m. weekends, Aug. 26 to Sept. 25. Computer terminals will be available in the exhibition so that bids may be made from the gallery. Proceeds of the auction will benefit students in the School of Art and Art History.

Steven Holl Architects of New York designed the new building for the University of Iowa with local architect Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck Architecture of Des Moines, which received the 2001 American Institute of Architects highest firm honor, the Architecture Firm Award.

Located adjacent to and above the Hutchinson Quarry Pond along Riverside Drive, Art Building West was designed to blend architecture with nature, as represented by the pond, the nearby bluff, and the trees that surround the site. The exterior of weathering steel panels will oxidize over time with exposure to air and moisture, making visible the effects of nature on the building. The red color of the oxidized steel will also relate to the brick of the nearby existing Art Building.

Johnson said of the new building, "Architect Steven Holl surpassed our hopes and expectations for the building in every way. He created a stunning work of art in which students can make art and study its history. At the same time he created spaces that were functional and provide technology at the cutting edge."

Noting Holl's careful use of light throughout the building, Johnson added, "The poetry of light permeates the beautiful spaces of our art building. The joy of light uplifts all who enter the building and makes teaching, studying and working in the new art building a delight."

Considered one of America's most important architects, Steven Holl has been recognized with architecture's most prestigious awards and prizes and is widely published. His notable buildings include the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Finland, Simmons Hall at M.I.T., the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of Minnesota, and the Chapel of St. Ignatius at the University of Seattle, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art which will open in June 2007 in Kansas City, Missouri. You may learn more about his work and view his designs at

The new building houses classrooms, studios, the new Art Library, gallery space and both faculty and administrative offices. The building's total space of 69,000 square feet includes 13,000 square feet of library space, 7,800 square feet of studio space, 2,405 square feet of classrooms and a 2,600-square-foot auditorium.

Photos of ABW can be seen at:

QuickTime slide show of more than 100 photos can be seen at:

Groundbreaking for the building was held Oct. 4, 2002. The cost of the building was $21.5 million, of which about $16 million was appropriated by the State of Iowa and more than $5 million came from gifts to the project, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

This building was part of the UI's recently concluded $1 billion comprehensive fund-raising campaign, conducted under the guidance of the UI Foundation. Named "Good. Better. Best. Iowa: The Campaign to Advance Our Great University," the seven-year effort raised private funds to help launch a variety of initiatives across the university. The UI Foundation is acknowledged by the UI as a preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the university.

The School of Art and Art History is a unit of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For information on UI arts events, visit on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Art and Art History web site at To receive UI arts news e-mail to

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Building Dedication and "100 Years of Art at Iowa"

Schedule of public events

Faculty Exhibition and Online Auction:

-- 3:30 p.m. Aug. 25-9 p.m. Sept. 25,

-- Aug. 26-Sept. 25, ABW Gallery, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and noon to 5 p.m. weekends

Friday, Sept. 8:

-- 1:30-3 p.m., 240 ABW: "Fuzzy Edges: Between Art and Architecture," symposium featuring Steven Holl, Vito Acconci and Michael Bell

-- 3-4 p.m., ABW: Self-guided tours of building

-- 4 p.m., 240 ABW: Building Dedication Ceremony

-- 4:30-5:30 p.m., ABW: Self-guided tours of building

-- 5-7- p.m., Nancy and Craig Willis Atrium, UI Museum of Art: Broadcast of "Know the Score LIVE!"

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072,

PHOTOS are available at

NOTE TO MEDIA: Architect Steven Holl will lead a walk-through of Art Building West for reporters and hold a press conference between 10 and 11:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 8. Interested reporters and photographers should contact Arts Center Relations so we may know the number of participants.

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