Permanent Art Collection gets moved to new facility

Danielle Kronau, Arts & Rec Editor

Monday, Nov. 4 was a moving day for the permanent art collection from the Crossman Gallery and Department of Art and Design to the Community Engagement Center for both space and more organized room.

Artwork donations made to the Crossman Gallery and Department of Art and Design grew into a permanent collection with no opportunity to show the permanent collection to patrons, or the people who support the gallery. The campus secured a former Sentry Grocery store which was renovated to become the new art building. This facility was not something that could have been built on campus.

“We have a pretty robust collection and we’ll be able to present it to the students in an art history sort of framework, but then also in a community outreach environment to provide this professional perspective on how to handle, conserve, and house permanent collections of art,” said Erica Meier who is the Interim CEC Gallery Director, Studio and Safety Coordinator.

By moving the permanent art collection to a bigger facility, it will allow more benefits to students. One of these benefits will be providing a learning practicum for students as well as being open to the community in general and not just the Whitewater campus.

“They might have some community based learning opportunities out there,” said Dr. Lauren Smith, who is the Chair of the Department of Art and Design. “There, it’s a whole second area for exhibits, so another place to be involved with that kind of work. There may be some classroom activities that connect there, and there might be some work opportunities out there.”

This renovated building will be more than just a place for paintings and ceramics. The Community Engagement Center will also house all different forms and styles of arts. This may include dance performances, instrumental performances and the like.

“I know that the art gallery will be a place where people can, say, get married. I mean, the art gallery will have more expanded uses than what we have here regarding the Crossman. I think we’re planning to hold small chamber groups there, you know, musicians, poetry readings. It’s kind of much more a multi-use space. So that will be great,” said Eileen M. Hayes, who is the Dean of the College of Arts and Communication.

According to the Community Engagement Center – UW-Whitewater website, the building serves as a place where the community and facility can come together to work on university efforts that are mission based. The mission of this building is to allow influential education that extends further than the walls of a classroom.

The Community Engagement Center is now open and will have its grand opening in spring of 2020. For more information, visit