31 Jan 2012

A Piece of Art

Author: dlemle | Filed under: BGSU, Spring 2012, Student Contributor, Wolfe Center

By Dan Lemle

The Wolfe Center, which opened its doors on December 9, 2011 on the campus of Bowling Green State University, serves as a resource for the performing arts, but it also a piece of artwork in itself.

“Lead donors wanted an emerging architect to design a building that would represent the arts at Bowling Green,” said Ron Shields, chair of the Theatre and Film Department.

Snøhetta, an international architectural firm originating from Oslo, Norway, designed the arts center which cost $41 million, according to Shields.

The building looks as if it is emerging out of the ground. This concept creates a contrast with Ohio’s flat landscape. Also, the building is constructed with metal and steel, whereas most of the other buildings on the campus are of brick.

The Wolfe Center contains two theaters, a choral room, dance studio, costume and make up rooms and classrooms.

“You can tell its design was meant to be different,” said Catie Rudolph, a junior majoring in human development and family studies who has a class in the Wolfe Center. “It definitely looks like an art building.”

The artistic influence continues once one enters the main lobby. A large mural, created by artist Anne Sensted is displayed along a large staircase. Two other works from Sensted are on display in the Wolfe Center.

A very unique aspect of the building are mosaics that line a walkway into one of the two theaters. The mosaics are at least 2,000 years old and are from the city of Antioch, Turkey, according to Shields. Separate pieces of limestone that contain the mosaics display traditional theater masks and other images associated with the arts.

“The mosaics try to recreate the spirit of living. They kind of float in time,” Shields said.

The Wolfe Center has already proven its usefulness for art students at the university.

“I’ve been in the choral room a few times for rehearsals. I think it’s an improvement on other practice rooms on campus,” said Jon Wray, a sophomore majoring in music education.

“This building is for BGSU. Anyone can have a meaningful experience with the arts here,” Shields said.

A large mural by Anne Sensted in the lobby of the Wolfe Center. Photo by Dan Lemle

A second piece of art by Anne Sensted on display in the Wolfe Center. Photo by Dan Lemle.

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