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Cornish College of the Arts Receives $2 Million Gift to Support Visual Arts Complex

November 09, 2011

SEATTLE, WA – Cornish College of the Arts President Nancy J. Uscher, Ph.D announced today a gift of $2 million from Jon and Mary Shirley, philanthropists and community supporters, in support of the planned Visual Arts Complex, the new home of the College’s Sculpture Program and Senior Student Art Studios. This magnificent gift will be used to transform the property located at the corner of Virginia Street and Terry Avenue in the Denny Triangle, located just one block from the Main Campus Center, 1000 Lenora Street.

“This gift is an investment not only in the next generation of visual artists who will graduate from Cornish in the years to come, but in the future of the arts in Seattle, and beyond,” said President Uscher. “We are so grateful for the Shirleys’ commitment to the visual arts and to our community.”

Beginning in January 2012, seniors in the Art Department will be able to use the Studios to prepare for their BFA Exhibition in May, the culminating event of their college experience at Cornish.

Design and construction of additional floors will complete the transformation of the building into a facility that will nourish and stimulate the creativity of Cornish students, faculty and visiting artists. The new Sculpture Studio will be designed to be accessible to visitors who are interested in the design, fabrication and exhibition of sculpture. Approximate cost for the facility is $12.2 million and nearly half of that total has been raised. The projected completion date is dependent upon additional fundraising.

Noted sculptor and Cornish trustee Julie Speidel said, “Jon and Mary Shirley have contributed so much to our community, in the arts and beyond. We are honored that they share our vision for the future of visual arts – especially sculpture – at Cornish.”