Newly Renovated KC Building Hosting Art Department's First Exhibition
All photos by Kirk Gittings

Newly Renovated KC Building Hosting Art Department's First Exhibition

The newly completed renovation provides the Art Department with a brand new home with cutting-edge facilities
January 20, 2022

CNM’s Art Department finally has a place to call its own. After spending the last couple of years in Max Salazar Hall, the faculty, staff, and students are thrilled to officially be moving into their new home in the stunningly renovated KC Building.

“We’ve prided ourselves in providing excellent instruction for our students and now we have brand-new, cutting-edge facilities that create a professional space and really bring the Art Department into the center of our campus,” says Lea Anderson, a long-time art faculty member.

The renovations more than double the Art Department’s instruction space from three studios to seven, and includes a jewelry lab, digital arts/photography studio, and areas for printmaking, painting, drawing, and Art Practices 1 and 2 classes. The new building also contains a variety of support spaces such as a wood shop, a matting and framing room, and an attached outdoor work yard and sculpture garden. A high-ceilinged gallery space ties the entire building together and will be a place for students, faculty, community members, and even national and international artists to exhibit.

KC Building

“We bend over backward to make an amazing experience for our students so this is a real treat for us. It’s a reward for all of our hard work over the years,” says Cheryl Dietz, an Art faculty member who served on the committee that helped choose SMPC Architects for the renovation.

Marie Shaver Holloway, the CNM Facilities Project Manager who oversaw the building renovation, says the entire team from the faculty, to the architects, to the contractor—Franken Construction— worked hard to provide everything the Art Department needed and were excited to include the gallery as a space everyone can enjoy.

“At the beginning we weren’t sure that the gallery would fit within the budget and building footprint, but everyone is elated that this space now exists and that we can use it for everything from local art exhibits to national art seminars,” she says.

KC Building

Lea says she’s also thrilled about the gallery.

"It’s not just a place to hang up some art but it gives students a chance to learn about a gallery and all of the responsibilities that you have when you’re installing an exhibit and taking care of the art. We want to create those kinds of professional opportunities for students beyond just displaying art,” she says.

Like all new buildings on CNM’s campuses, the KC renovation was built to high environmental standards. It includes features such as LED lights, a high-efficiency heating and cooling system, and a well-sealed and well-insulated design that helps with energy savings.

“The building renovation has been an eight-year project and we’re really excited to see it come together,” Marie says. 

To celebrate the KC Building’s grand opening, the Art Department held a reception and open house, complete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Jan. 21. Attendees were able to tour the Art Department’s brand-new facilities and gallery where they’re holding their first-ever exhibition, titled “Breaking Ground.”

The exhibition showcases an array of paintings, prints, sculptures, and even jewelry created by CNM Art Department faculty and staff.

“I’ve had so many people in the community and even at CNM tell me they didn’t even know we had art at CNM,” Lea says. “Now the art program is very visible, and hopefully it encourages students to take more art. I think that’s such an important part of the college experience to learn about and engage in the arts.”

The “Breaking Ground” runs from Jan. 21 through Mar. 18 and is open every Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Masks and online health assessment forms are required to enter the building.

KC Building