At the beginning of this year, the Undergraduate Residential Life Committee (URLC), composed of seven students and four administrators, chose Art House from among the proposed program house ideas. Beginning in the fall, Art House residents will occupy one half of 230 Washington St. The other half of the building will remain Lighthouse.

Over winter break the URLC, co-chaired by Director of Residential Life Fran Koerting and Chair of the Student Affairs Committee Nicole Updegrove ’14, was faced with the task of choosing from among the applicants to occupy what was formerly Interfaith House, a program that was proven unsustainable.

“The members of the URLC felt there were two viable proposals, Art House and House of Afrika, and were unable to make a decision between the two at our last meeting,” Koerting wrote in an email to The Argus. “We continued the discussion via email during the semester break and ultimately decided on Art House.”

Updegrove noted that selecting a program was not easy.

“It was a tough decision,” Updegrove wrote in an email to The Argus. “We identified a lot of strengths for both houses, but as with any proposal, we had some concerns as well. A vote determined [Art House] to be the winner.”

Art House will have space for approximately 18 students when it is officially christened in the fall.

Genna DeGroot ’15 and Gabe Gordon ’15, the students who submitted the Art House application, intend to schedule events that are open to the entire student body, not just residents of the house.

“I want to have a really good housewarming bash,” Gordon noted. “I think it would be great to showcase artwork and maybe have a campus band playing throughout the night, have some poetry, just put together a creative campus event in Art House. I would like it to become a venue for all kinds of performances and exhibitions.”

URLC members hope that the house will be of benefit to any students interested in visual arts.

“We hope that [Art House] will make two- and three-dimensional art more accessible for the whole campus, much as Music House and Film Hall have for music and film,” Updegrove wrote. “Art is a passion and an interest, not just a major, and [Art House] could serve to expand that passion for the student body. For the residents, [Art House] will be a place to create, collaborate, and showcase.”

Gordon and DeGroot expressed their enthusiasm for the opening of Art House.

“We’re excited for what’s next and we hope everyone’s excited with us,” Gordon said. “It will be the drawning of a new age.”

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