The Fine Arts building is a place that supports the minds of many creative people, however, there are many flaws that tend to draw away from that creativity. This is ultimately why the FA needs to increase its funding, to improve the conditions of the building and increase the ease of being imaginative and creative.
One of the main problems in the building is the plumbing situation. For example, there are sinks that cannot be used because it causes more problems because the water won’t drain. FA students are told they will cause more of a mess than if we were to dump it into buckets then dump those into other sinks. Also, we all have a running joke about how you know when the FA is upset because the pipes will start groaning and making a ton of noise that can be heard throughout the entire room.
The bathrooms are just disgusting and can be improved with more funding to fix the plumbing and clean them up. I know plenty of people that try and avoid using the restrooms in the building. The most problematic restrooms are in the music department as they clog up consistently. The bathrooms in the FA are just consistently unreliable.
Another common recurrence is having little funding for the classes in the building. Students have to pay a fee for the class to pay for the materials and items that we would potentially need, however, it’s never enough. We continuously buy multiple materials out of pocket that should be bought with the fees we already pay. Or, there should be a way for us to acquire said materials for cheaper since they are needed but weren’t able to be covered by the funding already available.
If there are going to be renovations to the FA, then they should inspire students to be creative. This is a building that is supposed to bring in creativity and that’s hard to do when you’re inside and have absolutely no sense of time and never see the outside world once inside. The building is just cinderblocks and brick and the fluorescent lights are just incomparable to daylight.
Also, I think the outside of the building should be painted with some kind of mural. The sculptures are great and demonstrate our artistic abilities but it can be further expressed with being bold versus another boring brick building on campus.
The FA should honestly be torn down and rebuilt. There needs to be more space for all the activities and events happening in the building. The gallery spaces should be bigger and the art department always feels so small in the classrooms. For example, the sculpture room doesn’t have enough space for everything that we wish could happen. There is only enough room for certain people to work on their projects during class time. Most students need to come in multiple times outside of the class if they want to be able to successfully finish their projects. Art students create physical pieces that are manifestations of multiple thoughts coming together. Yet there is never enough room for everyone to show what they’re working on without bumping into the person next to them. The rooms have always felt cramped, instead of inviting.
Also, there is no place for students to hang out in, there is an expansion planned for the theater, which is indeed needed, however they are removing the small sliver of a hangout spot for students. So, we’re going from a little spot to essentially nothing at all. We need a break from the classrooms and a place to rest our minds a little bit, before pouring more hours into our work.
Another benefit of having more space would be more practice rooms available to the music and theater majors. They currently share these spaces and more often than not they’re occupied by another person practicing. For instance, a music major may want to practice but can’t because there’s a theater major rehearsing. One adage to the practice rooms that would be nice is making them soundproof because most people feel self-conscious when they’re practicing and how they sound. This is because they understand that they might not sound the best, hence the practicing but having people hear you from down the hall can become nerve-racking.
Overall, the FA is a hub of creativity, and we do make it through all of these things. We have to. These opinions are from years of hearing the same complaints over and over again. Would it be nice to have better plumbing, funding and spacing? Absolutely, however, the likelihood is slim. There are currently motions to helping the FA but the situation can always be improved.