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Art facility to benefit MU, downtown

The Parthenon

Published: Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 00:01

The Marshall University School of Art and Design plans to relocate to the downtown area of Huntington for the Fall 2014 semester.

The school will relocate to the Anderson Newcomb building—which was formerly the Stone and Thomas building on Third Avenue.

Jaye Ike, public relations representative for the School of Art and Design, said the new building will become a permanent staple in the Huntington community.

“With this new purchase, Marshall’s School of Art and Design aspires to be the region’s visual arts program of choice, recognized for state-of-the-art facilities, superb faculty and adept graduates who are difference makers in their communities and chosen professions,” Ike said.

Don Van Horn, dean of the School of Art and Design, said the school has yet to have a dedicated facility for students since its inception in 1901.

“The project downtown represents the first time we will have a space dedicated to art,” Van Horn said.

Along with the school, two new businesses will be incorporated into the building, which will give more opportunity for the downtown area to expand.

Approximately 250 students will be enrolled in the new facility, and the space will allow art students to be actively recruited. Business owners and employees hope that this change will be a positive one.

Hannah Noel, a bookseller at Empire Books, said she is excited and hopes the store will improve with students browsing in between classes.

“It’s something that we don’t have,” Noel said. “People will be curious about it.”

Robin Rogers, manager of IRH Inc., which includes Runway Couture, Inspired and Heels, said the move will bring awareness to what Pullman Square has to offer students.

“Anything that brings more people down to Pullman is always welcome,” Rogers said.

Rogers said she believes there has been a gap between Marshall and the community and bridging the gap will be beneficial to both sides.

“The further Marshall stretches out, the better,” Rogers said.

New hot spots for Huntington are excited as well.  Jason Oesterreicher, Executive Chef of Du Soir Bistro, is mostly excited about the type of cliental the school will bring.

“Students with that type of background want to go to a nice environment,” Oesterreicher said.  “Students will appreciate the art on plates.”

Du Soir Bistro’s interior is lined with local artist Michael Cornfeld’s work and in the future will present opportunities for art and design students to showcase their work as well.

Kaylin Searles can be contacted at

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