VAPA was conceived as a facility that would provide an “…evolving environment for the performance of all forms of art and open to the most challenging ideas and personalities from either inside or outside the college environment…” [The Art Policy Committee, 1964]
VAPA has undergone significant change over the course of forty years, with new programs and studios created for digital art, moving image, and digital fabrication.
New faculty and programs are continuing to put pressure on the building, and this is a good time to do an evaluation of the possibilities for transformation, including renovations and additions. Included in this study will be an evaluation of the building’s energy usage, and strategies for optimizing its efficiency.
This studio will explore the potentials in the spirit of the original vision articulated by Trustee and alumna, Betty Brown in 1965:
There are many possibilities to be explored. For example, why not think in terms of a continuous whole, something that would be neither one big building nor forty small ones, but both—something supple and wandering—partly indoors and partly outdoors, a weaving of rooms and courts and walks—jumping a space here to form an island, flinging out a wing there, two stories somewhere and one story somewhere else….all this not exactly one building, not exactly many, not exactly a building at all, simply a stream of energy rising and falling with areas of concentration and areas of expansion, each piece capable of having its own architectural identity…able to push its way up through the roof or out through the walls or down into the ground if it wants to and yet all these separate identities able to speak to one another, each division, even each subject able to be itself and yet able to open out in many directions. A structure like this doesn’t need to have any particular beginning or end—certainly no monumental center; it can be expanded almost indefinitely, and at almost any point; its interior spaces can be reassigned in almost any way as points of pressure shift.