The new Rosalind S. Richardson Center for the Arts on the Wofford College Campus is named after the wife of Wofford alumnus and trustee Jerry Richardson, founder and owner of the Carolina Panthers. This 54,500 SF facility is home to academic programs in theatre arts, visual arts and art history. The exterior features limestone, brick, and copper — and large areas of glass fill art studios with natural light, create openess, and connect with the outdoors. Other features of the facility include a 300-seat performance hall with a 2600 SF stage, high-performance theatrical lighting, rigging and audiovisual systems, black box theater, and dressing rooms; an outdoor sculpture garden; two custom-made glass sculptures by internationally renowned artist Dale Chihuly; a museum for Wofford’s permanent collection; student gallery; seminar classrooms; faculty offices; and studios for acting, costume design, painting, and ceramics.
The Center for the Arts will enhance the student experience while also serving the community. An Art Studio is sized to accommodate 20-25 students at easels or drawing benches. The Ceramics room features several large work tables and 4 potters wheels with the kiln located outside on a covered porch, which also serves as a space for using spray paint and adhesives. An art porch is surrounded by a decorative screen wall designed by Asheville artist Berry Bates. There is also a wood shop for scenery construction, which includes an integral dust collection system. Air quality in the art rooms, particularly the ceramics studio, is a project priority. Humidity, air quality, and temperature in the museum — as well as the art storage space — was handled with dedicated units, very tight controls, and attention to off-gassing of materials.
At a cost of $24,000,000, the project opened May 2017 ahead of the Fall semester for incoming students.