Official Plan for Downtown Center for Art and Culture Released by University

Official Plan for Downtown Center for Art and Culture Released by University

On Friday, January 30, it was announced that Colgate University intends to build a Center for Art and Culture (CAC) in downtown Hamilton. The building is scheduled to be a large-scale museum that further connects the community of Hamilton to the University. According to Charles A. Dana Professor of English Linck Johnson, the vision for this building is four years in the making. In an attempt to help deal with the display and storage problems of the Picker Art Gallery and the Longyear Museum, it was decided they would be united under one roof – establishing the Center for Art and Culture. 

“The Board of Trustees’ final approval to build the CAC is a cause for celebration, both on campus and in the Village,” Johnson said. 

The CAC will be much more than just an extension of the Picker Art Gallery and the Longyear Museum, however. The museum will be open, with free admission to the public in addition to K-12 programs, programs for senior citizens and other events for university students. The museum will further the globalism of the University as it will give students the opportunity to undertake internships with world-renowned artists. The CAC hopes to impact the experience of every student at Colgate.  

“This project will be a major attraction for our town because it will be the only museum of its kind in the area,” Director of University Museums and Research Affiliate in the Department of Art and Art

History Anja Chavez said.

Chavez was very excited to have enlisted architect David Ajaye to be the designer of the CAC and believes the finished product will be an architectural icon for Upstate New York. David Ajaye is known for designing the Haus Der Kunst in Munich Germany, the National Museum of Slavery in Ghana and the

Museum for Contemporary Arts in Denver, among others.

“When complete, the CAC will be unique amongst university museums in its combination of art and anthropology collections and innovative in its location in the village. It has been a privilege to be part of the process,” Professor of Art and Art History and Chair of Art and Art History DeWitt Godfrey said.

The four year process of planning involved many individuals, including Godfrey, who is excited about the creation of what he describes as a cultural center for our village and region. The CAC will be located between Utica St. and Madison St. 

Student reaction to this initiative has been mostly positive.

“I don’t know much about it; I’m more of a science and math person so I think it could be a good way to learn about art and culture without committing to taking a class for a semester,” first-year Chien-hsueh Huang said.

“I think it will definitely further integrate the University and the community just by being down the hill. It’s an added reason for people to venture into the town,” first-year Claire

Pandaleon said.