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$408,742 worth of art coming to SIUE Science Building surrounds

The State of Illinois Capital Development Board has approved $408,742 for artwork in and around Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Science Buildings as part of the CDB’s Art-in-Architecture program.

The Illinois General Assembly created the Art-in-Architecture (AIA) program in 1977. It is administered by the Capital Development Board. The program’s purpose is the “promotion and preservation of the arts by securing suitable works of art for the adornment of public buildings constructed or subjected to major renovation by the State or which utilize State funds, and thereby reflecting Illinois’ cultural heritage, with emphasis on the works of Illinois artists.” The works of art that have been created through the program create a permanent art collection for the people of the state of Illinois.

The AIA program reserves one-half of one percent of the construction cost of state building and renovation projects to purchase public art. In addition to the acquisition of single, significant artworks, the AIA program commissions site-specific works that are integrated into the structure of the building. Science West opened in fall 2013, while the renovation of Science East was completed in 2018.

All professional artists living and working in Illinois are eligible to apply for commission opportunities. Artists are selected and commissions are awarded based upon the recommendations of a Fine Art Review Committee comprised of representatives from the Illinois Arts Council, Illinois State Museum, the project architect and a site representative.

An SIUE design team of faculty, staff and students will help develop the design criteria for the artwork. SIUE Vice Chancellor for Administration Rich Walker will serve as the administrative chair of the on-campus committee.

“The artwork created by the program could be a single piece, but is more likely to be multiple pieces,” Walker said. “The exact locations and character of the works will be defined by SIUE and the commissioned artists. We are thrilled to receive this funding and excited to see what the design team and the artists create.”

Since its inception, the program has purchased or commissioned nearly 1,000 works of art by Illinois artists. SIUE has installed six projects through the program now located on the Edwardsville and East St. Louis campuses.

Photo: The Crossing by Evan Lewis, an example of the Art in Architecture program at SIUE.

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