Missouri State University’s Student Exhibition Center, currently located at 838 E. Walnut St., is moving just north of Park Central Square this year.
The new location for the art gallery, 326 N. Boonville Ave., formerly home to Physique Fitness, was acquired for approximately $413,000, according to the Board of Governors Feb. 16 meeting agenda.
The action was subsequently approved, and the transfer is expected to be completed by August, according to Art and Design Department Head Vonda Yarberry.
The decision was made partly due to the proximity to Brick City — where Missouri State’s Art and Design Department courses are held, improved parking access and the potential for more foot traffic, according to Yarberry. She said the new location has the potential to encourage more participation from faculty and students on a regular basis.
Vonda said the current location, with an estimated value of around $400,000, will go up for sale. The purchase of the new building was made with the Student Art Exhibition Fee endowment fund, previously valued at $1.2 million.
While the new exhibit space isn’t larger in terms of square footage, the configuration is more flexible for different types of art that can be displayed, according to Yarberry.
“Galleries are an important focal point for artists, designers, art educators, art historians and those involved in museum studies,” Yarberry said. “Every student in our department is learning about the display and engagement of their work with the public. Having this facility be more easily melded into our students’ classroom experience means students have more opportunity to develop their skills professionally.”
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