A Purchase Worth Praising - Winter 2008 Ivy Leaf Magazine

Ivy Leaf - Winter 2008

A Purchase Worth Praising


The Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees approved the $185,000 purchase of a new building to be used for the Penn State Altoona Visual Art Studies Program (VAST).

Originally a church, the 15,000 square foot property on West Chestnut Avenue in Altoona includes a sanctuary, basement, garage, and adjoining house. The majority of the space was converted to a fully-functioning wood-working, sculptural, and material-working space by former owner Geo Trusty. Trusty is donating all of the industrial, high-quality equipment in the building, which totals nearly $166,000.

The college will use the building for instruction of most of its Visual Art Studies courses, a gallery, studio space, faculty studios, and storage. The VAST program is a new baccalaureate degree program that was first offered by Penn State Altoona in fall 2007.

“Upon touring the facility, we came to realize how dynamic and complete this wood-shop is,” says Chancellor Lori J. Bechtel. “The state-of-the-art equipment exponentially adds to our Visual Art Studies program, which offers the most complete conceptual, technical, and professional frameworks needed to nurture productive and confident artists. This is a terrific opportunity that Penn State Altoona could not pass up for its students, faculty, staff, and community.”

Requiring students to leave campus for their art courses will support the college’s mission of providing opportunities for students to learn in non-traditional classroom settings and demonstrate a real-world model of the working artist who often rents or works in a studio outside of the home.

Minor modifications and renovations are needed. A fall 2008 dedication is planned.