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Innovation Grant Funds 3-D Lab for Art Students' Big Ideas, Big Creations

2/6/18


The 3-D Lab, which opened this fall, opened up a world of possibilities for art students. From left are Fine Arts faculty members Lucas Kelly, Michael Welliver and Kerri O’Neill with sculptures created by MacKenzie Mabin (chair), Alice Thompson (cupboard), and Amanda Elliott (plaster, paint and styrofoam hamburger).

From left, faculty members Michael Welliver, Kerri O'Neill and Lucas Kelly with MCCC President Jianping Wang, Dean of Liberal Arts Robert Kleinschmidt and Vice President for College Advancement Ed Gwazda.

West Windsor, N.J. – Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) art students now have a beautiful new space where they can complete large-scale three-dimensional work.

Opened this fall, the college’s new Makerspace 3-D Lab, located in the ES building, was funded through an MCCC Innovation Grant. It provides hands-on learning experiences that were not possible previously, or were limited by the space available in the Ceramics Studio next door.

The studio is being utilized by multiple disciplines, including art and architecture students. The inventory of equipment includes four large work tables and chairs, table saws, and lockers for project storage.

“This is an appropriate professional environment and is more in line with what students will experience at their transfer schools," Fine Art Program Coordinator Michael Welliver said. "Students will have enhanced opportunities for learning and creating. The studio provides a well-lit, less crowded workspace. A vacuum ventilation system improves safety."

Fine Arts Professor Lucas Kelly is especially excited to give his sculpture students the chance to work on a larger scale. He points to numerous projects his students completed during the fall semester that allowed them to expand what was possible. A number of students used “upcycled” materials as they investigated concepts in 3-D sculpture with architectural and pop art themes.

“Sculpture students will look at the construction of a chair in a different way than an architect. An artist will think about how to reconfigure it into a sculpture. This space will open up a whole new world of creativity. The feedback I got from students this fall was pretty amazing,” Kelly said.

The Fine Arts faculty anticipates attracting art students from around the region who are interested in working in the inviting studio.

Kelly developed the proposal for the studio space about two years ago and is pleased it has come to fruition.

Welliver added, ‘The stars aligned. We had visions of what it could be. Once this room became available, it all fell into place and our students are the winners.”


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