GOCA outlines Ent Center move, new opportunities

November 14, 2017

Lindsey O’Reilly

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The Gallery of Contemporary Art’s upcoming move for the Ent Center for the Arts creates new opportunities and challenges for the organization.

    In December, GOCA will move to the Ent Center for the Arts. The move will be complete by Jan. 2, and the gallery’s official opening will be Feb. 1.

    Marking the move from its current location in Centennial Hall, Democratic Vistas, GOCA’s current on-campus exhibit, will be officially closed in GOCA 1420 on Dec. 9. A final event honoring Betty and Murray Ross, founders of Theatreworks, will accompany the gallery’s closing.

    The move will bring changes to GOCA with new spaces for learning and creating, according to Daisy McGowan, director of GOCA.

    According to McGowan, this move will be beneficial to GOCA because the new building will provide appropriate areas for classes and creating art with new lighting, ceiling and floor technology, and a climate-control system.

     “We designed every space in (the Ent Center) to be a teaching space. Some are specifically for academics, but the performance spaces and the galleries…are designed for students to work hands-on, side by side with professional artists,” said McGowan.

    Alongside the new learning spaces, student employees will also be able to apply for jobs with GOCA and other organizations at the Ent Center. New jobs range from ticket holders in the front of the house to ushering for Theatreworks.

    The student employees involved with GOCA will move to the new building with the placement of new office spaces. This move will open more jobs for future students interested in working for GOCA as well.

    “This will definitely add more student/staff positions,” said McGowan.

    However, challenges may arise from the transition, according to McGowan. Returning and incoming arts students who don’t have prior knowledge of the arts programs may find the building’s size and new establishment and size intimidating.

    “We spend a lot of time in the arts programs trying to find new ways for people to feel welcome and invited. We’ll still continue to do that (after the move); we’ll just need to think of new ways to do that,” she said.

     Another challenge this move may create is the distance. GOCA will no longer be within walking distance on main campus.

    “There is a shuttle stop right in front of Centennial, and it takes just a few minutes to get down the hill (to the Ent Center), so (the distance) is almost a psychological thing to overcome,” said McGowan.

    The move has been under the control of McGowan said Jeff Davis, design and construction project manager, and Facilities Services, which have been a big help in the moving process.

    “We already have a list of when we’re meeting with movers; they’ve already given us boxes. They walk us through the process and give us a lot of support,” McGowan said.

    The Visual and Performing Arts programs have created a new website for students interested in attending future events at the Ent Center.

    For more information, visit uccspresents.org/features.