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Thursday June 1st

Ground floor of Morrison opens as creative art space for students

An art studio will open in the basement of Morrison on Monday. Photo by Emilie Poplett.
Buy Photos An art studio will open in the basement of Morrison on Monday. Photo by Emilie Poplett.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the Morrison Art Studio will be located in the basement of Morrison Residence Hall. The studio will be located on the ground floor. The story has been updated with the correct location of the Morrison Art Studio. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for this error.

On the ground floor of Morrison Residence Hall, students can make art. 

The Morrison Art Studio will officially open on Monday. The studio was created in partnership with Carolina Housing, the Department of Art and Art History and Arts Everywhere.

“The three partners involved wanted to provide a space where any student on campus could have access to a space to create art, no matter their prior experience, skill level or curricular interests,” said Carol Magee, chairperson of the art and art history department. 

Allan Blattner, director of Housing and Residential Education, said Morrison Residence Hall was chosen for this project because security is a major concern for Carolina Housing.

“There are very few spaces on campus where we can create a space like this that can be accessed from an exterior door and is also secured from the rest of the building because all of our residence halls are locked,” Blattner said. “It’s a way to open up the space to everybody on campus but still maintain the privacy within residence halls that is so important.”

On-campus students will have their flex passes programmed so that they can access the studio, and off-campus students will be given a flex pass specifically for this space. 

The studio provides faculty, staff and students with free access to painting supplies and the space after completing a 30-minute orientation on access, safety procedures and how to use studio equipment and supplies. 

The studio will be staffed by an artist-in-residence, and this year’s is master's in fine arts candidate Natalie Strait. 

“She will supervise the space, do some classes every month for other students," Blattner said. "She will talk with other students about their projects. We are really excited about her involvement in the space." 

Emil Kang, special assistant to the chancellor for the arts, said the goal of the project is to help emphasize art is for everyone.

“We want everyone to understand that every space can be a creative space,” Kang said. “I have used the sports analogy quite a bit — I think everyone knows that our varsity athletes are incredible athletes, but this doesn’t mean everyone else shouldn’t be involved in sports in some way, whether it’s through physical fitness or in some other form. Yet, I think we have a prevailing view of art being for arts people.”

Magee said this space is also important for the University to focus on arts programs. 

“We are living in times when STEM disciplines are the focus of so much attention and the arts are often neglected in the face of that,” Magee said.

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