12.2.07

THE FRONT PORCH LOOKS GREAT. There's even a webcam for boosters, recruits, fans, and alumni to follow progress on the upscale locker room. But don't tour the studio.
Last fall, students complained their necessary studio space at the Pleasant Street Art Annex was difficult to work in due to leaking water and concerns with security of artwork.
There appear to be limits to what an aspiring artist will put up with.

[Graduate student Dustan] Creech came from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Students from the university interested in graduate school recently called Creech to ask if he recommended NIU.

"I said no," Creech said. "I told them I wouldn't send any student here given the facility for the graduate students. As a student, I feel I've wasted a year here because of the facility."

Other graduate students are wary of recommending the School of Art in light of the facilities.

"I would tell them to run away," [graduate student Hunter] Logan said. "In fairness, they are doing some things to make the program better. The art history and art education people are all top flight."

Students wishing to come to NIU's graduate art program who need off-site studio space are cautioned.

"We are honest with them," [faculty member Adrian] Tio said. "Students should come and visit."

The studio annex is leased. There is still a backlog of deferred maintenance to other buildings. Some of that might be the effect of legislative stinginess. On the other hand, headquarters reveals a preference for upgrading its own offices and for raising money for more visible, if not necessarily academic, projects.

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