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May 23, 2018

Glassell School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Opens

HOUSTON, TEXAS—The new Glassell School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston opened to the public on Sunday, May 20, with the first classes convening Monday, June 4. The completion of the Steven Holl Architects-designed building marks the end of the first phase of the largest cultural project under construction in the United States. The redevelopment of the museum’s 14-acre campus is expected to be complete in 2020.

“The inventiveness of the forms and the quality of the space of the Glassell School of Art distinguish Steven Holl Architects’ building as a truly remarkable architectural statement,” MFAH director Gary Tinterow said. “The magnificent new structure creates a seamless integration of architecture and public space, honoring the collaborative spirit of the Glassell School by embracing not only the thousands of students and faculty who will create in its spaces but the greater public as well.”

The Glassell School is the only museum-affiliated art school in the United States that serves students of all ages, from the early childhood education to the postgraduate Core Program and critic’s residency. The new 93,000-square foot building hosts private, naturally-lit studio spaces, classrooms, roof terrace, a seventy-five-seat auditorium, and a flexible “forum” space. The Glassell School anchors a new public plaza designed by Deborah Nevins & Associates in collaboration with Nevins & Benito Landscape Architecture.

“For nearly four decades, the Glassell School has been an essential center for Houston’s diverse and active art community, reflecting the museum’s commitment to developing future generations engaged with the arts,” Glassell School of Art director Joe Havel said. “The new building brings out missions as the teaching wing of the MFAH to an entirely new level. The drama and beauty of the design, matched to an exceptionally functional and durable building made specifically for artmaking practices will challenge the imaginations of our faculty and our students.”

The new Glassell School allows, for the first time, all programs to be housed under one roof. Annual enrollment is expected to increase from 7,000 to 8,500 students.

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