|January 26, 2011|
|Savannah College of Art and Design
SCAD Museum of Art expansion will provide a permanent home for the Walter O. Evans Center for African American Studies
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|On Savannah’s Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, the SCAD Museum of Art is creating a home for one of the most significant collections of African American art at any museum in the United States. Savannah native and retired surgeon Dr. Walter O. Evans hopes to foster a greater awareness of and appreciation for the contributions of African Americans to the global art community through his donation to SCAD of major works by some of the greatest African American artists.
The 27 million USD expansion of the SCAD Museum of Art will include the creation of the Walter O. Evans Center for African American Studies, as well as space for all the collections and exhibitions of the museum.
For Dr. Evans, the reasons to establish a permanent home in Savannah for his collection are deeply personal. "My mother still lives here. Savannah is my home. I want children here to learn from my collection, to see themselves represented on gallery walls. I also envisioned my collection living at an institution that would not only respect and appreciate the works, but that would also create meaningful educational components around the works. I’m fortunate that such a place exists in Savannah: SCAD."
When Dr. Evans and his wife, Linda, approached SCAD in 2005 with the idea of donating some of their artistic and cultural treasures to the university, SCAD President Paula Wallace didn’t hesitate. "I immediately said, ‘yes, yes, yes.’ It is not only a tremendous honor that Walter and Linda have entrusted SCAD with their cherished collection, but the opportunities for SCAD students, and students worldwide, to study such important and historical works of African American art are priceless."
Upon the expected fall 2011 completion of the restoration of the 1853 freight depot of the Central of Georgia Railroad, the new SCAD Museum of Art will feature an additional 65,000 square feet of gallery, museum and educational space, including the Evans Center, classrooms and a 250-seat theater.
Currently, all of the historic brick walls are stabilized with steel beams and repointed by masons with historic mortar, concrete has been poured for most of both floors, the ground has been leveled, a metal roof covers the second floor, and work on the tower has begun. "It feels good to watch the progress of the museum expansion," said Dr. Evans, who regularly tours the construction site. "SCAD has a long history of restoring buildings carefully, meticulously, on time and on budget. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished museum."
From the Evans Center and SCAD’s prominent collections to the building’s design itself, the SCAD Museum of Art is poised to become one of the most important artistic and cultural centers in the country.
SCAD: The University for Creative Careers