The Savannah College of Art and Design to Open Major Teaching Museum Devoted to Contemporary Art and Design on Oct. 29, 2011

82,000 sq. ft. space designed to enhance SCAD's education initiatives with new exhibition program and integrating one of the city's most important historic landmarks

Featuring the Walter O. Evans Center for African American Studies and the Andre Leon Talley Gallery

SCAD Museum of Art opening exhibitions: Bill Viola "The Crossing"; Liza Lou "Let the Light In"; Kendall Buster "New Growth: Stratum Field"; and Kehinde Wiley

Sep 13, 2011, 10:22 ET from Savannah College of Art and Design

SAVANNAH, Ga., Sept. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Savannah College of Art and Design announces one of its most important education initiatives to date: the new SCAD Museum of Art, a significantly expanded and re-imagined contemporary art and design museum conceived and designed expressly to enrich the educational milieu for SCAD students, professors, and art and design enthusiasts. SCAD Museum of Art re-opens to the public on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011. Inaugural exhibitions at the new museum include: Bill Viola, "The Crossing"; Liza Lou, "Let the Light In"; Kendall Buster, "New Growth: Stratum Field"; a solo exhibition of recent works by Kehinde Wiley; and selections from the SCAD Museum of Art's Permanent Collection, including the Evans Collection of African American Art, presented in the new Walter O. Evans Center for African American Studies within the museum.

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"SCAD has a tradition of fostering innovative and dynamic art experiences, and the SCAD Museum of Art advances this rich tradition," says SCAD President Paula Wallace, who initiated and oversaw the development of the expanded museum in Savannah. "Rather than a place to view artworks in isolation, our museum is a kinetic think-tank, a collaborative wellspring of ideas and inspiration for SCAD students and professors." 

In keeping with the university's mission, a year-round program of exhibitions, installations, performances and museum programs and events will engage with SCAD's 41 majors and more than 50 minors - from fashion and fibers to painting and sound design. This programming will also provide students and professors across all disciplines a collaborative space to experience celebrated works of art and design, and to interact with the renowned and emerging artists who create them.

The New SCAD Museum Experience

SCAD Museum of Art provides one square foot of academic space for every square foot of exhibition space. Galleries act as extensions of the traditional classroom, and, on the second floor of the museum, 12 classrooms create expansive learning laboratories. These museum classrooms are specifically designed to facilitate the learning experience – wide hallways and doorframes allow for easy movement and study of large works of art, and storage facilities located among the classrooms allow access to all of SCAD's collections and temporary works.  

SCAD continues its award-winning legacy of adaptive reuse in the museum's distinctive design and execution. The new museum joins past and present by uniting the ruins of the Central of Georgia Railroad 1853 depot, a National Historic Landmark and the only surviving antebellum railroad complex in the country, with 65,000 square feet of new space. At 82,000 square feet total, the revitalized and re-envisioned structure honors the historical elements of the older buildings, preserving parts of the ruins as they exist today, while also featuring modern applications and materials. An 86-foot-tall steel and glass lantern punctuates the museum design and will soon adorn the Savannah skyline with a beacon of light.

The design of the new museum was conceived by President Wallace and Senior Vice President for College Resources Glenn Wallace. SCAD alumnus and professor Christian Sottile of Sottile & Sottile Architects executed the design, and it was supervised by SCAD alumnus Martin Smith, executive director of design and new construction.  

"All SCAD facilities are nonpareil in design and in provenance, in form and in function – and when setting about to plan the museum, this distinct legacy guided our vision to create an inspired educational space," says Glenn Wallace. "The museum engages with the fabric of its history, weaving textures of long ago with cutting-edge design. In many respects, it is a work of art in its own right – a manifestation of the dynamic and unrivaled art and design experiences that it will inspire."

The expansive facility includes galleries and classrooms, a 250-seat theater, a terrace and outdoor projection screen, a conservation studio, a museum cafe, and an event atrium. The museum is home to two new signature galleries: the Walter O. Evans Center for African American Studies, which boasts one of the most significant collections of African American Art in the United States, and the Andre Leon Talley Gallery, which celebrates style and design in its myriad forms.  

SCAD Museum of Art also features breakthrough technology, highlighted by a state-of-the-art interactive orientation center in the museum's entry hall. Designed by Pentagram exclusively for the museum, this 10-foot-long touch pad delivers information and images of the facility, exhibitions, artists and museum events.

Inaugural Exhibitions

The museum's programming is led by SCAD Executive Director of Exhibitions Laurie Ann Farrell, and newly-appointed Chief Curator of Exhibitions Isolde Brielmaier. The inaugural lineup of exhibitions sets the tone for the roster of national and international, renowned and emerging artists whose work will be presented in the museum:

Bill Viola: "The Crossing"

Co-commissioned by SCAD in 1996, "The Crossing" premiered in Savannah and has since been exhibited around the world.  Rich in metaphor and grounded in shared spiritual beliefs of East and West, this canonical video art celebrates Viola's signature ability to convey complex themes with scale and sound.  

Liza Lou: "Let the Light In"

As meticulous as it is magnetic, Liza Lou's work never fails to draw a crowd. In "Let the Light In," the artist engages themes of containment, labor and repetition with millions of brilliant glass beads that illuminate the will and sensibility of human workmanship. As she has for much of her career, Lou brings a painter's eye to her sculptural work, examining visual themes from the Pop Art and Neo-Expressionist tradition in unique environments of her own design.

Kendall Buster: "New Growth: Stratum Field"

Commissioned by SCAD for the debut of SCAD Museum of Art, "New Growth: Stratum Field" is a site-specific sculptural installation designed and constructed to converse with the resonant features of the museum's 290-foot south-facing gallery. Recalling Buster's most iconic structural forms, this work explores biological architecture in all its many incarnations.

Kehinde Wiley: selected works

The monumental and life-size portrait paintings of acclaimed artist Kehinde Wiley transpose elements of contemporary culture onto Baroque and Renaissance decorative backdrops.  

In addition to exposing students to the work of lauded visiting artists, the museum will also present rotating exhibitions that feature selections from the Walter O. Evans Collection of African American Art, the Earle W. Newton Collection of British and American Art, as well as from SCAD's permanent collection, which include works by Salvador Dali, Nicholas Hlobo, Richard Hunt, Willem de Kooning, Annie Leibovitz, Robert Mapplethorpe, Wangechi Mutu, Pablo Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol and Carrie Mae Weems.

For more information about the new SCAD Museum of Art and its programming, visit or call + 1 (912) 525-5220.

SCAD: The University for Creative Careers

The Savannah College of Art and Design is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution conferring bachelor's and master's degrees to prepare talented students for professional careers. As the most comprehensive nonprofit art and design university in the country, SCAD offers more than 40 majors and more than 50 minors at distinctive locations in Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia; in Hong Kong; in Lacoste, France; and online through SCAD eLearning. The diverse student body of more than 11,000 comes from all 50 United States and nearly 100 countries worldwide. Each student is nurtured and motivated by a faculty of more than 700 professors with extraordinary academic credentials and valuable professional experience. These professors emphasize learning through individual attention in inspiring university environments.

SCAD Museum of Art
601 Turner Blvd.
Savannah, GA 31401
+1 (912) 525-5220

SCAD Museum of Art Hours:


Noon to 5 p.m.



Tuesday – Wednesday

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


10 a.m. to 8 p.m.


10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Noon to 5 p.m.

Admission Prices:

SCAD Student/Professors/Staff


General Admission


SCAD Alumni


College Students with ID


Discounted (Senior/Military)


Family (three or more)


Children under 14


Group Fees/Tours

Please call 912.306.4671 for more information

SOURCE Savannah College of Art and Design