An old high school is the now the center of CSU's art world.

Colorado State art gets a new (but old-school) home

Just a block or so east of the Colorado State University campus (1400 Remington Street) is the stately old Fort Collins High School, a red-brick, Georgian revival-style building constructed in the 1920s. As you can see from the picture, it would look more at home in Philadelphia or Boston than in the northern-Colorado college town.

Over a decade ago, a new high school was built. Then, just a few years ago, the old building was purchased by CSU to house the soon-to-open University Art Center, which will be unveiled in stages during the 2008/2009 academic year. The UAC can be accessed from the CSU campus via the College Avenue underpass, and then through the Annual Trial Gardens.

The rehabbed facility will include an array of attractions, including the Edna Rizley Griffin Concert Hall, the Bohemian Complex that includes a theater and an experimental theater, the William E. Runyan Music Hall, the University Art Museum, the University Dance Theatre and the Casavant Organ Recital Hall.

It will will house the enormous CSU Historic Costume and Textile Collection that includes some 12,000 artifacts, and is the only study collection of its kind in the Rocky Mountain region. Valued at more than $2 million, the collection includes pre-Columbian textiles, Civil War-era clothing, flapper dresses, lace, designer-apparel by the likes of Mr. Blackwell, Arnold Scaasi, Carolina Herrera and Calvin Klein, and even upholstered chairs, which, believe it or not, is one of the newest and hottest categories in textile collecting.

The Historic Costume and Textile Collection, which has been overseen by curator Linda Carlson for the past twenty years, will also have state-of-the-art storage and an exhibition gallery in the UAC.

A series of events will be held over the coming months inaugurating the various aspects of the UAC. For more information, go to www.sota.colostate.edu/facilities/uca.html. -- Michael Paglia

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