State of the "Art" Classroom

New 3-D Art Annex raises the bar for university art facilities and attracts students from around the country.

Student Crafts Art at One of the New Art Annex's Individual Work Stations The new facility provides individual work stations and personal storage for each student majoring in jewelry design and metalsmithing.
The metallic clanks ring through the hallways and classrooms, conjuring up images of red-hot iron rods shaped around anvils in a 19th-century blacksmith’s shop. But no farrier’s establishment ever would have carried the haute couture jewelry displayed in the 3-D Art Annex. Highly honored by top jewelry-making judges, these pieces are the future of design – 20 years ahead of what we wear today. On a cool Monday in February, as one student hammers away at some metal rods in the graduate student studio, Emily Schuhmann takes her time cutting tiny clover-shaped designs into 14-guage copper sheets. “I wanted to go somewhere where the professors are well known,” she said, explaining her trip from Ball State University to Texas Tech this year. “I looked all over – even in New Hampshire and New York. Then I heard that SUNY got nine feet of snow in the winter and decided to come to Texas.” But really, this room, this building, is the reason why Schuhmann says she came from Indiana all the way to Texas. That, and her professor, Rob Glover. It’s not just a studio for his learning artists. It’s a new benchmark for universities across the nation when it comes to design and development of a university art facility. “This faculty is the best I have ever seen,” Schuhmann said. “And I’ve looked at some of the best schools. Plus, it’s exciting to pioneer a new program here in the new space. This graduate area is awesome. These facilities are astounding.” All around her sit art objects in various states of completion. She picks each one up as she talks about her themes and ideas. Sometimes her inspiration comes from the shapes of dangerous bacteria and viruses. Other times it’s a matter of mix/match metals and organic shapes that blend into a vase and tray.

Before the Art Building Renaissance

Glover remembers the old days of jewelry art making in the old Art Building. They weren’t pretty. He taught in a quarter of the space in a room that didn’t even approach his needs as an instructor. Kilns made such horrible smells and put off so much heat, it turned the classroom into a stinking furnace. Artists set them to come on early in the morning, which meant delays in completion.
Student Designs Jewelry The 3D Annex, located across from the Recreation Center, is a renovated building with 33,000 square feet. The new jewelry area accounts for 6,000 square feet of the annex.
Staying clean was next to impossible. The building, he said, just wasn’t designed for teaching the art of jewelry design. It was an archaic room prone to mess and frustration. Then, a food warehousing facility on the west side of the campus became available. Glover saw more than the bare, 33,000-square-foot industrial building where meals were made for the dorms. It had the one thing Glover knew his department needed: lots of space. “We had one room and some storage cabinets in the hallway,” he said. “That’s it. Now, we’ve got two undergraduate labs, a central soldering area, an acid and etching room, spacious graduate studios, ample storage, faculty offices and this really cool covered outdoor area to hammer and raise metal. “Who could ask for anything more? It has changed how I teach everything.” Now, hoods vent the odor, and any kind of soldering or casting torch is available in the myriad of drawers. Glover now has the ability to get top-notch work out of beginning students. Residency in the new 3-D Art Annex began this fall, and it currently houses classes for jewelry design and metalsmithing in a 6,000-square-foot area. Eventually, the building will hold classes for sculpture and ceramics.

The School of Art's latest addition, augmented by a world-renowned staff, makes Texas Tech a premier pick for students seeking a Bachelor or Master of Fine Arts in one of three areas:

Photo Gallery

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Click to See the 3-D Art Annex Video

Students and faculty explain how the annex is helping to draw in students from around the country. Watch


Story produced by the Office of Communications and Marketing, (806) 742-2136. Web layout by Jessica Alexander. Photos by Artie Limmer.