The Daily Iowan

Arts students face new challenge: time

JOHN DOETKOTT

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The new schedule posted on the automatic glass entrance doors of the UI Studio Arts Building has at least one enemy.

Sara Gomer, a UI junior art major, sees the building’s hours — now to be locked after 10 p.m. daily — as a limit to her expression.

“I like to come on Friday nights because I feel creative on Friday nights,” Gomer said.

Before last week, the facility was open 24 hours.

“New hours were set for security reasons,” said Karla Stout, a studio-arts department administrator.

Gomer said she was already frustrated with the university’s decision to hold arts classes off campus after the school turned a former Menards building into the studio-arts facility. But as she started to adapt, she said she was shocked again with limited hours.

“My artwork caters to the stupid schedule of this building,” she said.

Gomer relies on the Cambus to commute to the Studio Arts Building for her painting class this semester. But she said it is difficult to bring all her materials to and from the building, and she can’t always depend on the Cambus to take her home because it stops running at 10 p.m.

Students aren’t the only ones lamenting the change.

“I think most of the faculty think it needs to be open 24 hours,” said Professor Robert Glasgow.

Glasgow, who teaches printmaking at the Studio Arts Building, said the change is simply a budgetary issue. Security guards who used to protect the building at night have been pulled to guard the UI Museum of Art’s collection now in the IMU, he said. And with a limited budget, the department is unable to keep guards posted at both locations.

He also said the department’s administration was working on a solution to the problem and thought the current situation was only temporary.

“Everybody realizes the importance of trying to keep this open as much as possible,” Glasgow said.

He went through a similar situation when he was a graduate student, he said, and it is not uncommon for schools to have facilities open fewer than 24 hours.

At Iowa State, though, the College of Design is the only university classroom building open 24 hours a day to allow “convenient access to workspaces and intensive development of studio work,” a 2008 curriculum brochure said.

Having studio space was especially important for graduate students, Glasgow said, but he was also skeptical that 24-hour availability was necessary.

“I don’t think it absolutely has to be open 24 hours a day,” he said. “I think people can plan better than that.”

DI reporter Michelle Boryca contributed to this story.

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