UA Little Rock receives more than $750,000 to expand art offerings

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Department of Art and Design will expand its art outreach with a $754,108 gift from the Windgate Foundation.
Part of the gift will enable the university’s Department of Art and Design to establish a series of educational art workshops for high school students and art teachers around the state and in contiguous states.

“The Windgate gift will help us promote excellence in the visual arts by exposing students to both traditional and contemporary arts and bringing students and art educators to experience our program and our facilities,” said Joseph Lampo, director of development and external relations. “Ultimately, we want to help those students who show promising talent become well-trained artists and makers.”

New outreach activities will take place during the school year and during the summer at the Windgate Center of Art and Design on the campus of UA Little Rock.

Beginning this summer, the university will offer workshops for junior and senior high school students and art teachers.

“These sessions will be designed not only to instruct or train participants in a particular technique or process, but also to introduce them to our highly skilled Department of Art and Design faculty and the up-to-date equipment and facilities of the Windgate Center of Art and Design,” said Thomas Clifton, chair of UA Little Rock’s Department of Art and Design.

A $20.3 million gift from Windgate Foundation in 2015 enabled UA Little Rock to construct the Windgate Center of Art and Design, which opened in 2018. The center houses a fine arts foundry and specialized areas for ceramics, digital fabrication, graphic design, jewelry making, illustration, metal fabrication, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpting, woodworking and space for art history and art education. The state’s only programs in furniture design and metalsmithing also are housed in the center.

“The Windgate Center of Art and Design is a state-of-the-art facility with an accomplished and passionate faculty, and we are pleased to continue our partnership with UA Little Rock for their art outreach program,” said Pat Forgy, executive director of the Windgate Foundation. “We encourage high school students and art teachers in Arkansas and beyond to take advantage of this exciting opportunity to visit campus and explore workshops in areas such as woodworking, metal and digital fabrication, ceramics, sculpture, painting, drawing and more. Through these workshops, art teachers will learn the latest techniques and students will be able to discover the numerous possibilities available in pursuing a visual arts education.”

During the academic school year, high school art students and their art teachers will be able to spend a day in the department’s studios. Participants will work with UA Little Rock faculty and have a day of college-level classes. The sessions will begin in fall 2019 and be offered on select Fridays during the semester.

Art teachers will have their own summer workshop in which they receive instruction in current art techniques. The UA Little Rock Art and Design Department is partnering with the Thea Foundation, which will assist in recruiting teachers for the workshops. Teachers who participate in the summer workshops will receive support from Thea Foundation for the following school year.

Beginning in summer 2021, the university will offer on-campus housing at no charge to students and teachers attending the summer camps. All workshops, including supplies and instructional materials, will be free for students and teachers. Transportation costs will not be covered.

“We want this opportunity to be accessible to students and teachers in central Arkansas and beyond,” Lampo said. “By offering residential opportunities, we hope to encourage students and teachers who may not be able to participate otherwise. This is just one way we are expanding our collaboration with the arts community and helping nurture promising careers in the visual arts.”

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