Boulder Visual Arts Complex

University of Colorado in Boulder unveils its new Visual Arts Complex

In 1939, the University of Colorado began amassing a permanent art collection as a teaching tool – and, since the 1980s, stored the works, some 6,000 strong, in a climate-controlled vault. Now University has unveiled its art collections new home – a  project largely made possible through an increase in student fees that CU assessed in order to create this new building as a cornerstone of its arts education programs.

The  25,000-square-foot CU Art Museum, designed by architects Kallman, McKinnell & Wood in concert with OZ Architecture in Denver, officially opened on September 24 and features five galleries (two of which are dedicated to the permanent collection). Art will also be shown in the lobby. A third floor bridge links the museum to the new Visual Arts Complex that houses the department of Art and Art History. The bridge and plaza between the two buildings forms an official cultural gateway to the university campus in Boulder, and is near to the largest public parking lot on campus.

Colorado Universitys new Visual Arts Complex - interior

Colorado University's new Visual Arts Complex - interior

“The visual arts now have greater visibility on campus,” museum director Lisa Tamiris Becker said. She stressed that the breadth of the collection-  works ranging from ancient Iranian and Roman pottery, to Japanese ukiyo-e prints, Medieval manuscripts, Renaissance and Baroque works, and American art from the 19th and 20th centuries – benefit.

Currently, the museums name is Colorado University (CU) Art Museum. And thats partially due to the students role in being patrons for the new museum. In 2003, the student government created a $400 per year fee assessed to all students for 20 years to replace funding rescinded by the Colorado Legislature, in the post 9/11 (2001) fiscal crisis. The Fine Arts Building received $30 million, according to Becker. In addition, 20% of the student fee goes into a financial aid fund to help students who cant afford additional fees, while 1% of the funds are required to go toward environmental building design.

The opening exhibition at CU Museum is “archiTECHtonica” which includes painting, photography, new media, sculpture and site-specific installations by Seung Woo Back, Midred Howard, Yael Kanarek, Stefan Kurten, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Marco Maggl, Driss Ouadahl, Daniel Rozin, Richard Saxton and Peter Wegner, plus a digital archive of Lance Fungs “The Snow Show” exhibition. A panel discussion will be held on Tuesday, September 28 from 7-9 p.m.

Other exhibitions include Peter Wegners “Wall-To-Wall-To-Wall,” Liliana Porters video “Fox in the Mirror,” and Highlights from the Permanent Collection.

A full list of opening lectures, performances and events is available on the museum website. See a slideshow of current exhibitions below:


Trackbacks for this post

  1. Margaret Neumann at Rule Gallery Denver | Adobe Airstream