An interview with Westmont Art Professor Tony Askew
Q: What aspect of the Adams Center for the Visual Arts excites you the most?
A: Everything about the new building excites me! It will be a tremendous boost to our program, which continues to attract a growing number of art majors.
Two things come to mind immediately. First, I’m delighted with the spacious galleries the Adams Center will provide. Our gallery following is large and is a real asset to Westmont and to the community. I try to do shows here that have a strong academic potential, and the expanded gallery space will make that goal much easier to accomplish.
Also, I’m thrilled that the building will be located at the center of campus so our exhibits will be more accessible to the community. The arts are an essential part of the liberal arts curriculum and belong at the heart of campus.
Q: Why do you consider the arts to be such an important part of Westmont’s curriculum?
A: I believe the study and practice of art introduces students to different ways of looking at the world, culturally and historically, and that it encourages them to develop their own interpretations and forms of self-expression. I’m pleased that Westmont has long been committed to the importance of arts education as a means of achieving cultural literacy. The addition of an emphasis in art history has broadened the scope of our program to reach more students than ever.
There is also great value in the aesthetic pleasure of viewing art.
Q: Can you describe some of the features of the Adams Center for the Visual Arts?
A: The new building will provide studio spaces for drawing, painting, ceramics, printmaking, and crafts, as well as a computer graphics facility and a slide library. Our space for ceramics and printmaking is located outside, which makes us too dependent on the weather. We have had no facilities for computer graphics or for our slide library.
A separate structure will house a new sculpture studio, providing indoor and outdoor work spaces for Westmont’s art students and an office for a faculty sculptor. Larger classroom areas and a projection room are also planned to support the new offerings in art history and for general use.
We have been in great need of more space, and the Adams Center fulfills our dreams.