By Celia Regan ’79
The Monika A. and Charles A. Heimbold, Jr. Visual Arts Center opened its doors in September—new doors that had been installed just a few months before, shiny and fresh-painted, just like everything else in the new building.
How many doors? Not as many as you’d think in a 60,000 square foot building because, in the Heimbold Center, the studios are always open.
It’s specifically designed to break down barriers among visual arts media, and features open classrooms and moveable walls that encourage students to see and experience the work of their peers in painting, sculpture, photography, filmmaking, printmaking, drawing, visual fundamentals, and digital imagery. Large garage-style doors open to let the outside in.
The free flow of ideas across thresholds—and minds— is at the heart of the Heimbold Center.
Our thanks to the following donors whose gifts made possible the greening of the Heimbold Center as of August 2004:
Barbara B. Cohn MA '70 and Bertram J. Cohn
Vivian and Strachan Donnelly
Josephine A. Merck '69
Margaret P. Parker '60
Edith Cowles Poor '43 and Charles Lane Poor
Marilyn M. Simpson Charitable Trust
Joanne Woodward '90 and Paul Newman through Newman's Own
It’s a high-performance—or green—building, an environmentally friendly structure that sustains most of its basic needs. The Heimbold Center is heated and cooled by geothermal wells—dug 1,500 feet into Yonkers bedrock; special venting systems reduce exposure to chemicals and vapors; in many areas, artists will work with safe alternatives to toxic materials. And it was designed to make the most of natural light.
There is an abundance of natural light, enough to illuminate many of its studios until dusk. So much light, in fact, pours into the building—through windows, skylights, glass garage-style doors, and the atrium—that metal and wooden slats are angled over some of the panes just to tone it down.
The Heimbold Center, designed by Susan T. Rodriguez FAIA, Partner, Polshek Partnership, Architects LLP, is massive in scope yet modest in silhouette, slipping in under the site’s sheltering old trees. It rises just two stories above Kimball Avenue, and more than half of its space is underground. In fact, when students relax on the structure’s front quad, they are actually lolling on the grass-covered roof of the lower level.
Inside, there’s a space for everything.
For students and teachers:
- 6 dedicated teaching, studio and support spaces, which include
- Painting - a 2,070-square-foot studio
- Photography - 4 darkrooms and a daylight shooting room
- Printmaking - Artist’s Books Studio and a printmaking shop
- Sculpture - Shops for wood and metal, and kiln, paper-making and plaster rooms
- Visual Resources - Visual Fundamentals studio, visual resources library, digital lab
- Film/New Media - Soundstage, animation room, media conversion lab, media production work space, 7 editing rooms and a small screening room
- 7 ateliers, where studio teaching takes place
- 5 critique rooms, large and small
- 3 seminar rooms for visual culture classes
- 1 digital classroom
- 21 faculty offices
- Atrium and lobby, including the Atrium Cafe
- Exhibition Gallery
- Student and faculty exhibition space
- Lecture hall/film theatre
- Heritage Plaza
Our thanks to the following leadership donors whose gifts made possible the construction and endowment of the Heimbold Center, as of August 2004.
- Four Anonymous Donors
- Stephanie Hammerschlag Bernheim ’62
- Margot Campbell Bogert ’75 and Jeremiah M. Bogert
- Emily Adams Callaghan ’41
- Barbara B. Cohn MA ’70 and Bertram J. Cohn
- Laura Donnelley-Morton ’69 and John Morton
- Ellen Schloss Flamm ’59
- Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation
- Jane Reisen Harpel ’62 and James W. Harpel
- Monika A. Heimbold ’85 and Charles A. Heimbold, Jr.
- Anne Stevens Hobler ’39
- Pamela Howard ’62
- Andrew S. Kaufmann ’95 through the Kaufmann Family Foundation
- Virgilia Pancoast Klein ’75 and Walter C. Klein
- Allen Whitley Melville ’48 and Frank Melville
- Betty Elsas Burge Menell ’57
- Lora Klein Schultz ’62 and Michael Schultz
- Ruth Leff Siegel ’50 and Jerome A. Siegel
- Jennifer J. Small ’74
- Lois Farfel Stark ‘65
- Ann Tenenbaum ’83 and Thomas H. Lee
- Barbara Walters
- Pennell Whitney ’02
- Wheelock Whitney
- Laura Ziskin