Another new project officially began recently as ground was broken for the Windgate Visual Arts Center on the west side of the Millsaps College campus. Dr. Robert W. Pearigen, president of Millsaps, was joined by members of the board of trustees and other distinguished guests as the college began its latest project.
The new Visual Arts Center, funded in significant part by the Windgate Charitable Foundation (Arkansas) and to be named in the foundation’s honor, will enhance and expand the studio art offerings as well as create new gallery and classroom space for the art and art history departments.
“We are deeply grateful to the Windgate Foundation for their bold support from the project’s inception, and are honored to break ground on this arts center that will bear their name,” Pearigen said.
Additional funding came from private donors, including current and former Millsaps trustees, as well as from the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust (North Carolina).
“We are thankful for these donors who have given so generously for this project, and appreciate their confidence in Millsaps,” Pearigen said.
The Windgate Visual Arts Center is the first newly constructed academic building on the Millsaps campus since the Olin Hall of Science was completed in 1988.
At the groundbreaking, Pearigen also noted the opportunities for enhanced engagement with community partners such as the Mississippi Museum of Art and the Greater Jackson Arts Council.
A new entrance on West Street – the original front door of campus – will allow easy and safe access to and from campus, enhancing the many activities associated with the new Visual Arts Center, the chapel, the Else School, 1 Campus 1 Community, and more, and it will promote greater community participation in unique campus facilities like the James Observatory and the new track and soccer facilities. The construction of the Visual Arts Center and new West Gate entrance will take about 14 months to complete.
(Participating in the groundbreaking were (from left) Ward Van Skiver, Pat Ammons, Paul McNeill, Cathy and Maurice Hall, Rob Pearigen, Penny and Mack Varner, Mike McRee, Ryan Beckett, Safiya Omari