Press releases

Jon and Mary Shirley Foundation to Fund Dynamic New Makers’ Space at Cornish College of the Arts

Seattle– Cornish College of the Arts is pleased to announce the founding of the Jon and Mary Shirley Fabrication Studio. The new facility, located on the first floor of Cornish’s Main Campus Center at Terry Avenue and Lenora Street, will house a state of the art makers’ space providing leading-edge tools and training for tomorrow’s artists, designers, and performers.

The Fabrication Studio will be created via the redesign of an existing metal shop in the same location. It will include new 3-D, wood, and metal fabrication studios; a mold-making and ceramics studio; and 3-D classrooms. Among the tools currently planned to be installed in the space will be commercial-grade laser cutters, 3-D printers and scanners, milling machines, welding units, and a plasma cutter.

“As arts education continues to blur the barriers between fine art, design, film, interior architecture, and performance,” said Kevin Goodrich, Chair of the Cornish Art Department, “these facilities will enable Cornish to continue to be nationally competitive as an institution that balances the value of traditional methods of making with the potential of emerging technologies.”

A portion of the exterior facade of Cornish’s Main Campus Center, facing Terry Avenue and Denny Way, will be replaced with glazing to provide optimal light and sight lines within while also creating a highly-visible public view of art-making in action. The positioning of the Fabrication Studio towards the public perspective will serve as a catalyst for future programming and increased access for the greater Seattle community.

“These digital and traditional fabrication capabilities will be peerless in the region and highly competitive nationally,” said Cornish President Raymond Tymas-Jones. “They will provide us with new opportunities to engage with the South Lake Union neighborhood. But most importantly, the updates we are making will have an immediate impact on students across all Cornish departments by amplifying their access to the tools required of a 21st-century arts education.”

Cornish, one of the few colleges in the country where visual and performing artists study together, is excited to be able to offer its students an industry-leading space to explore their media and collaborate across disciplines. While Art, Design, and Interior Architecture majors utilize the new facility to build sculpture and models, Music and Theater students may use the new studio’s fabrication tools to create instruments or masks, while Dance majors collaborate with Performance Production on props and set pieces.

Construction of the Jon and Mary Shirley Fabrication Studio, funded by a generous gift from the Jon and Mary Shirley Foundation, will begin in 2020. It joins a new art gallery and auditorium currently under construction at Boren Street and Lenora Avenue, in a triad of upcoming additions to the main Cornish College campus.


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