Taking A Look at Austin Peay’s new Art + Design Building

L to R: CECA Director Janice Crews, Art + Design Chair Barry Jones, TN Arts Ed Director Ann Brown, TN Arts Executive Assistant Nieya Murray, TN Arts Associate Director of Grants Hal Partlow and Director of Marketing and Development Suzanne Lynch

By Suzanne Lynch, Director of Marketing and Development –

Last Friday, several TN Arts staff traveled to visit the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts (CECA, or “seek-ah”) on the campus of Austin Peay State University (APSU). Janice Crews, the center’s director, took us on a tour of the campus including the brand new Art + Design Building.

Barry Jones, art professor and chair of the APSU Department of Art + Design joined the group to show us the building’s impressive features. Jones has been waiting for this building since before he graduated from Austin Peay in 1995.

The long-awaited ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Art + Design Building took place Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. The $21.3 million, 46,000-square-foot building features faculty office space, general purpose classrooms, a multifunction room, art studios, a photographic studio, a general art gallery and a student gallery.

Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, APSU’s art + design program offers studies in drawing, digital media, graphic design, illustration, painting, photography, ceramics, printmaking, sculpture, and art education. The Department is housed in the College of Arts and Letters and consists of 16 full-time faculty for approximately 275 students. Three on-campus galleries also support the Art & Design programs. The Department of Art + Design also houses the Goldsmith Press and Rare Type Collection, an exceptionally large collection of wood letterforms.

Since 1985, CECA has been providing students, the Clarksville community and the middle Tennessee region with engaging experiences through the Art + Design, Music, Theatre & Dance, and Creative Writing programs at APSU.

CECA brings both emerging and prominent artists from around the nation to Clarksville each year to present concerts and lectures, work directly with students in master classes and workshops, and introduce innovative ways of making or exploring art. CECA also provides undergraduate students with graduate-level experiences and internships that prepare them for the workplace or graduate school. In addition, CECA provides the talented faculty of the arts departments at APSU with research opportunities to enhance their professional growth.