John Brown University officially dedicated its completely remodeled art facility, now the second building designated for the growing visual arts program, at a reception Friday.

“I’m excited to see how our students will utilize the state-of-the-art printmaking, drawing and painting studios, and the sound and video suites,” said David Andrus, professor of visual arts and department chair.

The new facility represents the growth in JBU’s visual arts program, which allows students to major in art and illustration, digital media arts, graphic and web design, or photography. With 240 students and eight faculty members, the visual arts program is the largest undergraduate department on campus.

The $2.65 million project transformed the old Engineering Building — part of the historic Cathedral Group — into a top-tier art facility.

The university also announced Friday that both the newly-renovated and the existing art facility would be named in honor of the Windgate Foundation, which gave lead gifts for the renovations of both buildings. “We are profoundly grateful for the support of the Windgate Foundation,” Andrus said.

The current art building will be named the Windgate Visual Arts West building and the newly remodeled facility will be named Windgate Visual Arts East. Friday’s dedication completes the full renovation of iconic Cathedral group.

Originally built in 1956, Windgate Visual Arts East first housed the university library. Most recently, the building housed JBU’s engineering and construction management programs. The exterior of the building, along with the other two buildings of the Cathedral Group, were renovated in 2008.

“Through their generous support of JBU, the Windgate Foundation has been a critical partner in the transforming mission of JBU of preparing students to honor God and serve others,” said Dr. Chip Pollard, JBU president. “We are thankful for this blessing.”

The community is invited to an open house for Windgate Visual Arts East on Tuesday, April 3, from 3:00-7:00 p.m. The new facility will be open for self-guided tours and the senior art installation by Katelyn Banks will be on display in the student gallery. Refreshments will also be available. During the open house, “Society of Illustrators Gallery” will be on display in the Windgate Visual Arts West Gallery.

John Brown University is a private Christian university, ranked first among Southern regional colleges by U.S. News & World Report and is listed as one of America’s Best Colleges by Forbes. JBU enrolls more than 2,100 students from 41 states and 44 countries. JBU is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.