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Windgate Art & Design Building Opens with Sept. 3 Exhibit and Tour

Windgate Art & Design Building Opens with Sept. 3 Exhibit and Tour
Tossed About by Greer Farris

The creative community now has a splendid home base in the UAFS Windgate Art & Design Building at Kinkead Avenue and Waldron Road. Students of every discipline began classes there last month.

In concert with the Unexpected Mural Festival, a companion gallery exhibit will open from 6-9 p.m. Sept. 3. It also will be a chance to tour the 58,000-square-foot building that now brings under one roof all classes in photography, printing, sculpture and art history, as well as freshmen programs in drawing, 2-and 3-D design, typography and digital imaging. The letterpress and printmaking operations, graphic design laboratories and a 150-seat film theater are also in the Windgate building.

A $15.5 million grant from Windgate Charitable Foundation made possible this long-needed building. UAFS will raise another $2.5 million to establish an endowment to support the facility.

The Windgate Foundation, based in Siloam Springs, Ark., has Fort Smith roots in the Hutcheson Shoe Co., a local manufacturer purchased by Walmart. Owner Bill Hutcheson and his mother, Dorothea Hutcheson, endowed the Windgate foundation afterward, in 1993. It has given millions to arts and education programs.

Printology, the opening exhibit, teams with The Unexpected mural festival to display a survey of prints by some of the best-known, current “street” artists, such as graffiti giants Banksy, Invader and Shepherd Fairey. The exhibit runs through October. It is curated by JUSTKIDS and sponsored by the UAFS Foundation. Visitors are welcome from now on to enjoy all exhibits and student works at the Windgate.

This article appears in the September 2015 issue of Entertainment Fort Smith magazine.

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