Inside the Nagel Art Studios:
Where inspiration meets talent
The greatest projects are those that serve their original purposes and lend themselves to adaptation.
Such is the case with the School of Art and Art History’s new Nagel Art Studios, a center for creativity made possible by a gift from DU Trustee Ralph Nagel and his wife, Trish.
The studios were designed to provide a light-filled space for students and faculty in the drawing and painting program. As students moved into the building, however, the broad, open design fostered unexpected innovation.
“One of the walls was finished in a way that allows mural painting, and one of our students recently completed the first mural in the space,” said M.E. Warlick, director of the School of Art and Art History. “We hope to teach mural painting in the studios eventually. That opportunity has everyone excited.”
Inside the studios, painting and drawing students can use the expansive space to compare progress across multiple projects. The space also accommodates specialized activities and has additional studios for foundational art classes.
“A faculty member who specializes in encaustic painting—an ancient technique in which hot wax, rather than oil, is the binding medium—now has a designated space in which to work,” Warlick said, noting that specially equipped space is essential because beeswax fumes have to be recaptured. The studio provides an encaustic station with a ventilation system.
Students in other art programs also benefited from the new studios. Moving the painting and drawing facilities to the new annex allowed the school to customize the third floor of the Shwayder Art Building for the electronic media arts and design program. The school also renovated large studios for digital photography and printmaking.