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Facilities and Technology

WCU's School of Art and Design is housed primarily in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center, which opened to academic use in January 2005. Built specifically to meet the needs of student artists and performers, the Bardo Arts Center includes a 1,000-set theater, a Fine Art Museum with three gallery rooms, and well equipped studio spaces and classrooms for a variety of mediums. The Fine Art Museum regularly brings in touring exhibitions and showcases the work of student and faculty artists.

The Bardo Arts Center's academic wing is home to both undergraduate and graduate arts programs with the exception of Interior Design, which is housed in WCU's Belk Building adjacent to the College of Engineering and Technology

Classroom and Studio Space  

Art Education

1032 total sq. feet  
This room features a small etching press, paper cutters, drying rack, hand tools and a glass fusion and computerized kiln housed in a separate, ventilated room. 

Art History/Art Appreciation Classrooms

2,016 total sq. feet  
Room 130 is a 150-seat facility, which is equipped to utilize different media sources. This is a primary space used to present routine classes in both art appreciation and art history. The space is also used for presentation by visiting artists and other special public events.  A smaller auditorium (Room 223) seats 48 individuals and is used for general art history classes and intimate visiting artist’s presentations. 


3,316 total inside sq. feet, 768 outdoor covered sq. feet. 
The ceramics major features two main rooms with four smaller specialty rooms and a covered outdoor kiln area. One of the main rooms accommodates beginning students; the other accommodates advanced students. The ceramics studios are equipped with potter's wheels, a slab roller, flexible shelving, and six heavy-duty work tables.   


The classroom dedicated to upper-level ceramics students offers dedicated wheels and workspaces for each student and two wall-mounted extruders. Rooms for materials storage and clay mixing, glaze mixing and glazing, and electric kiln firing are directly accessible from each of the two studios. Large folding doors in Room 144 open onto the exterior kiln space, which houses three propane stoneware kilns and a storage unit for the portable raku kiln.  


Equipment includes: 3 Skutt 1027 electric kilns; 1 Skutt 1027 Kilnmaster kiln; 1L & L test kiln; 1 54 cu. ft. Geil downdraft car kiln; 1 18 cu. ft. Geil downdraft propane kiln; 1 16 cu. ft. Alpine updraft propane kiln; 1 portable fiber drum raku kiln; 15 Brent electric wheels; 2 Shimpo electric wheels; 1 Randall kickwheel; 1 Reitz kickwheel; 5 Leach-style kickwheels; 1 Soldner Professional clay mixer; 1 Walker Jamar pugmill; 1 Bluebird pugmill; 1 Brent slab roller; 2 North Star extruders;1 glaze spraybooth

Graphic Design 

The graphic design studio consists of 25 Macintosh computers, one scanner, a color printer, and a black and white printer, computer projection system and wall pin-up spaces for the presentation of printed works.

Critique Room

624 total sq. feet 

This room is specifically designed to allow faculty to conduct critiques outside the working studio. Special track lighting provides the basic lighting. Wall treatments allow for the temporary installation of artworks. 

Drawing Studios

2,232 total sq. feet 

The general drawing studio is dedicated to beginning drawing with appropriate still life materials. The life drawing studio is equipped with risers and model furniture. Window treatments allow for restricting views into the studio and control of the ambient light. 

Faculty Studios/Offices

6720 total sq. feet 

A major design concept with the new arts facility is to provide faculty with both an office and a working studio. The essential offices are typically located near the hall entrance to the studio area. The studio areas have large windows and artificial lighting to suit the needs of the artist faculty. Each studio area contains a sink and basic storage. These spaces are also often used as M.F.A. studios if needed. 

Foundations Studio

480 total sq. feet 
This room is dedicated to presenting both the two- and three-dimensional design classes. 

Graduate Student Studios (9)

1,728 total sq. feet 
Each graduate student is assigned a working studio of approximately 300 sq. ft. These studio spaces contain large windows and artificial lighting as needed. Each studio contains at least one sink. Often, advanced M.F.A. students are assigned larger private studios. These studio spaces exist throughout the building. 

Painting Studios


2,336 total sq. feet. 
The painting studios are specifically designed for environmental conditions. The ventilation and space allow students to work on a range of sizes of works. A small construction area is designed into the space allowing for construction of stretchers, and this space also contains a sink. A specific storage area is designed into the beginning painting studio which allows for storage of unfinished works. It is possible for upper-level drawing classes to take place in this studio. 


Photography Studios

3,476 total sq. feet  
The photography studios are designed for the traditional development and printing of color and black-and-white images. The high-powered computer labs currently exist in the Fine Arts building, and these labs are utilized by the photography students when dealing with digital images. As the future dictates a development in the photo imaging technology, the traditional labs will also evolve. For the immediate future, the labs are utilized in a traditional manner. 

Printmaking/Book Arts Studios

2,916 total sq. feet 

One room is dedicated to book arts with tables, paper cutters, paper-making equipment, and ample storage shelves. The other is dedicated to printmaking with litho press, two etching/relief presses, roll-out slabs, separate etching room, screen washroom, photo development room, and ink storage room. 

Sculpture Studios

5,789 total sq. feet 
Room 134a: Sculpture (plaster/stone) - 884 sq. ft.
Room 134b: Sculpture (metal/welding) - 1,296 sq. ft.
Room 134c: Sculpture (wood/mixed media) - 3,600 sq. ft.
Outdoor Pit: Casting Pit - 200 sq. ft.

Slide Collection Room

This room contains 22,000 slides in addition to approximately 200 course-related videos and DVDs.

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