September 6, 2011

Savannah College of Art and Design announces the new SCAD Museum of Art

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)
SCAD Museum of Art, photo by Adam Kuehl. Courtesy of SCAD.

The Savannah College of Art and Design announces one of its most important education initiatives to date: the new SCAD Museum of Art, a significantly expanded and re-imagined contemporary art and design museum conceived and designed expressly to enrich the educational milieu for SCAD students, professors, and art and design enthusiasts. SCAD Museum of Art re-opens to the public on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011. Inaugural exhibitions at the new museum include solo shows by Bill Viola, Liza Lou, Kendall Buster, Kehinde Wiley, and selections from the SCAD Museum of Art’s Permanent Collection, including the Evans Collection of African American Art, presented in the new Walter O. Evans Center for African American Studies within the museum.


“SCAD has a tradition of fostering innovative and dynamic art experiences, and the SCAD Museum of Art advances this rich tradition,” says SCAD President Paula Wallace, who initiated and oversaw the development of the expanded museum in Savannah. “Rather than a place to view artworks in isolation, our museum is a kinetic think-tank, a collaborative wellspring of ideas and inspiration for SCAD students and professors.”


In keeping with the university’s mission, a year-round program of exhibitions, installations, performances and museum programs and events will engage with SCAD’s 41 majors and more than 50 minors—from fashion and fibers to painting and sound design. This programming will also provide students and professors across all disciplines a collaborative space to experience celebrated works of art and design, and to interact with the renowned and emerging artists who create them.


The New SCAD Museum Experience


SCAD Museum of Art provides one square foot of academic space for every square foot of exhibition space. Galleries act as extensions of the traditional classroom, and, on the second floor of the museum, 12 classrooms create expansive learning laboratories. These museum classrooms are specifically designed to facilitate the learning experience – wide hallways and doorframes allow for easy movement and study of large works of art, and storage facilities located among the classrooms allow access to all of SCAD’s collections and temporary works.


SCAD continues its award-winning legacy of adaptive reuse in the museum’s distinctive design and execution. The new museum joins past and present by uniting the ruins of the Central of Georgia Railroad 1853 depot, a National Historic Landmark and the only surviving antebellum railroad complex in the country, with 65,000 square feet of new space. At 82,000 square feet total, the revitalized and re-envisioned structure honors the historical elements of the older buildings, preserving parts of the ruins as they exist today, while also featuring modern applications and materials. An 86-foot-tall steel and glass lantern punctuates the museum design and will soon adorn the Savannah skyline with a beacon of light.


The design of the new museum was conceived by President Wallace and Senior Vice President for College Resources Glenn Wallace. SCAD alumnus and professor Christian Sottile of Sottile & Sottile Architects executed the design, and it was supervised by SCAD alumnus Martin Smith, executive director of design and new construction.


The expansive facility includes galleries and classrooms, a 250-seat theater, a terrace and outdoor projection screen, a conservation studio, a museum café, and an event atrium. The museum is home to two new signature galleries: the Walter O. Evans Center for African American Studies, which boasts one of the most significant collections of African American Art in the United States, and the André Leon Talley Gallery, which celebrates style and design in its myriad forms.


SCAD Museum of Art also features breakthrough technology, highlighted by a state-of-the-art interactive orientation center in the museum’s entry hall. Designed by Pentagram exclusively for the museum, this 10-foot-long touch pad delivers information and images of the facility, exhibitions, artists and museum events.


Inaugural Exhibitions


The museum’s programming is led by SCAD Executive Director of Exhibitions Laurie Ann Farrell, and newly-appointed Chief Curator of Exhibitions Isolde Brielmaier. The inaugural lineup of exhibitions sets the tone for the roster of national and international, renowned and emerging artists whose work will be presented in the museum.


Opening exhibitions include: Bill Viola: “The Crossing”; Liza Lou: “Let the Light In”; Kendall Buster: “New Growth: Stratum Field”; Kehinde Wiley: selected works.  In addition, SCAD Museum present rotating exhibitions that feature selections from the Walter O. Evans Collection of African American Art, the Earle W. Newton Collection of British and American Art, as well as from SCAD’s permanent collection.


SCAD: The University for Creative Careers


The Savannah College of Art and Design is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution conferring bachelor’s and master’s degrees to prepare talented students for professional careers. As the most comprehensive nonprofit art and design university in the country, SCAD offers more than 40 majors and more than 50 minors at distinctive locations in Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia; in Hong Kong; in Lacoste, France; and online through SCAD eLearning. The diverse student body of more than 11,000 comes from all 50 United States and nearly 100 countries worldwide. Each student is nurtured and motivated by a faculty of more than 700 professors with extraordinary academic credentials and valuable professional experience. These professors emphasize learning through individual attention in inspiring university environments.


A press preview of SCAD Museum of Art will be held 2 p.m., Oct. 28, 2011.
Pre-registration is essential to [email protected] or [email protected].


Elizabeth Reina-Longoria or Deirdre Maher
Blue Medium
Tel: +1 (212) 675-1800
Email: [email protected] or
[email protected]


Emily Belford
Savannah College of Art and Design
Tel:  +1 (912) 525-5210
Cell:  +1 (912) 344-7654
Email: [email protected]


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