Art program move raises concerns among students

By: Carrie Ratkevich, Staff Reporter

Students have many concerns about the move of the art program from the portables on main campus to other locations on Main, Montoya and Westside cam­puses, said Art Studios Major and Art Club President Alexander Casper.

The situation has already caused some issues with registration because printmaking was moved to Westside and painting was moved to Montoya, said Casper. To make matters worse the classes were not listed correctly, so students were emailed and told to re-register, he said.

“The shuffling will be confusing for new student and annoying for current stu­dents,” said Casper.

The loss of some classes at Main has also caused stu­dents to miss out on some requirements, said Art Studios Major John Snee.

“I can’t take my Print Making 2 or Painting classes because they will be at Montoya and Westside. It is too far for me to drive with my other family obli­gations,” said Snee.

Most of the classes for the program will be moved to the N-building on Main campus for the summer term. The decision to move them was made because of fire safety concerns in the por­tables, said Risk Management and Safety Director Gilbert Gallegos. The electrical wiring in the portables are not able to handle the amount of power needed by some of the equipment used by the program, said Gallegos.

The move to the N-building is only a tem­porary solution until a more suitable situation can be found, said Executive Assistant to the President Samantha Sengel.

“We wanted to be sure art classes could be offered at Main campus,” said Sengel.

Although the art pro­gram has plenty of students, it has been in a temporary situation for quite some time, said Casper.

“I’m not getting the impression people care for us,” said Casper.

Most of the students in the pro­gram transfer to a four-year institu­tion rather than graduating. Because the program does not have the grad­uation numbers, it is not respected, said Casper.

“They don’t really cater to our needs,” said Casper.

A short-term plan has been implemented to allow art classes being held in the portables to complete the semester, said Communications, Humanities, and Social Sciences Associate Dean Erica Volkers.

“We received a list of issues and identified short-term solu­tions to finish the semester suc­cessfully. Fortunately, the college leadership is supporting our move to new facilities, and we’re grate­ful they are responding quickly to support the art program and stu­dents while we investigate long-term solutions,” said Volkers.

Students are worried that the alternate facility will not be ade­quate for their needs, said Casper. The area only has one sink for three studios, said Casper.

“We use the sink so much; it’s going to be pretty tough,” said Casper.

The pottery kiln used to fire clay for some of the art classes is what started the problem said CNM President Katharine Winograd. Gallegos said the portables were not built to handle the power require­ments of the kiln. The problem was known to the administration and a plan to correct the issues was made, said Winograd.

An anonymous complaint was made to the Fire Marshal and immediate action had to be taken, said Winograd.

Calls to the fire marshal have not been returned at this time.

It is hoped that a permanent building can be put in place of the portables someday, but the state currently has a hold on those kinds of projects, said Winograd.

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