Next space victims: art school

The removal of most graduate art students’ studios from Altgeld Hall to the Art Annex at 2111R Sycamore Rd. is a double-edged sword for the NIU art program.

In some respects, the move will benefit the students it affects. The Altgeld studios were too cramped and crowded for the work they housed. Lighting in Altgeld was poor. And at least one student has complained that the building’s security was poor, making Altgeld “scary” to work in at night.

The new studios on Sycamore Road will alleviate many of Altgeld’s problems, with increased security and better facilities. However, there is one serious problem with the studio move: what art student wants to drag their materials and portfolios all the way up to Sycamore Road for their critiques?

Granted, the art program’s stay on the second floor of Altgeld (which began in 1975) was meant only to be temporary. And limited studio space has been set aside in Still Hall for some students who have problems finding transportation to the Sycamore annex. But will this space be able to serve the needs of all such students?

Graduate art students inconvenienced by the annex move are, unfortunately, the latest example of the NIU community’s struggle with space constriction.

The list of other examples is endless: parking, the Holmes Student Center, Swen Parson’s Career Planning and Placement and the Counseling and Student Development Center, etc.

It’s not as if efforts are not already underway to deal with the NIU space problems. The Student Services and Activities Space Study Committee is, for example, investigating the possibility of constructing a student center addition, in addition to starting center renovations.

But, as an NIU art student now might tell you, with every passing day the problems grow older and more difficult to solve.