In early February, the University of Arkansas School of Art opened four new and refurbished studios to the public. The first 'open studios' initiative allows Masters of Fine Arts and post-Baccalaureate art students to debut their work and gives those outside the school a glimpse at the University's newest facilities.
In 2017, the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation and the Windgate Foundation granted the school a combined $150 million. The money is tied to scholarship opportunites (each MFA student is fully funded) and exapnding the school's, previously cramped, work spaces.
"It makes you kind of appreciate where you came from and also makes you eager to take full opportunity of what's available here," says sculpture student Michael Louis Leblanc.
Director of Recruitment and Outreach for the School of Art Donna Smith Jones says opening the event allows the public to see how the school is investing this funding and to build a relationship.
"For the overall community, the creative economy is booming, so I think it's a really fantastic time for people to express their artistic talents and tie that into growing the community overall."