When local art afficionados came together to create the SCC Art Collectors’ Club in 2010 with the intent of securing works by artists from Iowa or with an Iowa connection, little did they know how fast the collection would grow.
“When we walked the campus halls in West Burlington we saw so much potential to display works for art,” remembers SCC Executive Director of Institutional Advancement Becky Rump. “They were just bare white walls with an occasional bulletin board. It really was a blank canvas.”
Eight years into the endeavor, the collection has grown to more than 300 pieces. Meanwhile, the donations continue to come in.
Rump says that while the Building the Dream campus expansion initiative focused on health, science, and technology instruction, planners had the foresight to allow for expanding into the art realm.
“We received a $250,000 grant from the Murray Foundation to build an art gallery,” explains Rump. “While it wasn’t part of our first phase of development, it followed as a close second.”
With the opening of the new Hall of Sciences, existing science labs were freed up for college reuse, causing a positive domino effect. College officials and art faculty worked together to create a plan to repurpose the vacated chemistry lab into a new art studio, thus allowing the repurposing of that studio into a permanent art gallery.
The new gallery will feature a completely remodeled and expanded entryway, storage vaults, a work area, movable lighting, and a modular wall system.
“Several collectors wish to make significant art donations, but we can’t accept them until we can create a secure, environmentally controlled space. This meets those requirements many times over,” adds Rump.
Renovations will begin in the spring 2019 with an expected completion by fall.