Western’s newest jewel: the Visual & Performing Arts Center (VPAC)
View an animated walk through video
View a photo gallery of the topping off ceremony
View a photo gallery of the ground breaking ceremony
In the news
On Sept. 28, 2014, Western Connecticut State University welcomed more than 500 guests to experience the creative process at work at the gala opening of its new Visual and Performing Arts Center. Students, faculty and staff were on hand to “put the building through its paces” in a multitude of spaces, including the Concert Hall, Studio Theatre, Art Gallery, Painting Studio, Recording Studio, Scene Shop, Dressing Rooms, Sculpture Studio, and M.F.A. Studios. In the weeks since the gala opening, the new facility has enhanced the artistic and academic experience for students, faculty, staff and patrons.
At 130,000 square feet, this uniquely designed facility is divided into three distinct wings: Theatre Arts, Music and Visual Arts, all connecting together in the stunning lobby with a ramp bridge that appears to float high above.
Students taking courses in the art wing benefit from light shining through double-height, northern-exposed windows in the spacious painting and sculpture studios. They work in photography and graphic design studios equipped with both the latest computer technology and the legacy technology of traditional film development. The Art Gallery features northern-exposed light, a Panelock 200 display system, all atop beautiful maple flooring.
Music students rehearse and perform in the Veronica Hagman Concert Hall, which features a tri-level, in-the-round seating experience for an audience of up to 350; variable acoustics; state-of-the-art performance audio and lighting; 5:1 HD recording and two Concert Grand pianos: a Steinway Model “D” (Hamburg) and a Yamaha CFX, the flagship of the Yamaha concert piano line. A recording studio houses WCSU’s new Audio and Music Production degree program and features a Solid State Logic Duality audio console — the finest in the industry.
Theatre students perform on the facility’s MainStage Theatre and Studio Theatre — both loaded with technology and functionality beyond many Broadway venues. Two theatre rehearsal studios, both equipped with audio/visual technology and sprung dance floors complement the university’s increasingly popular musical theatre program. Dressing rooms, practice rooms and individual Master of Fine Arts in Visual Arts studios are all incorporated into the spaces, designed for students so they may experience a professional-quality arts education.
The opening gala celebration will continue all year. On Thursday, Oct. 2, the Art Gallery opened with an exhibition of the works of Connecticut artist James Grashow. The MainStage Theatre will light up on Friday, Nov. 14, with a production of Little Women, the Broadway Musical, directed by Julio Agustin Matos Jr. The Concert Hall will open on Friday, Dec. 5, with the Jimmy Greene Quartet and WCSU Jazz Combos.
The new facility was designed by an award-winning team of architects and technical consultants, including the architectural firms of Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture and Amenta/Emma as well as JaffeHolden (Acoustics) and Fisher Dachs Associates (Theatre).
Visual and Performing Arts Center Contruction Time Lapse
Visual and Performing Arts Center Photos