By Donny T. West
Construction of the Charles W. Lamar Studio is now complete and open to students and the community.
The Lamar, Switzer and Reilly families- all descendants of Lamar- were invited to a ribbon cutting ceremony of the new art gallery on Feb. 27 at Pensacola State College.
The families have gifted millions of dollars to the school over the years including $1 million for the addition of the art gallery.
“We would not be here without the generosity of the Lamar, Reilly and Switzer families,” Dr. Meadows said. “We’re so very proud of the long-term generosity we’ve had with these families.”
The art gallery doubles as an additional teaching space for the Anna Lamar Switzer Center for Visual Arts.
Before the ribbon cutting, guests were free to roam the gallery and view the various paintings including the current Stephen Estrada exhibition “Sea Journeys” that will be displayed through March 15. Estrada was also in attendance at the ceremony.
PSC student Clay Kimmons, an art major, was particularly excited to see the current work on display.
“Stephen Estrada’s work is breathtaking and gives a memoir of what nature could offer to the human eye,” Kimmons said. “His pieces are truly remarkable, it brings a unique feeling to the gallery and uplifts the spirit.”
Area business leaders and PSC faculty expressed excitement for what this could mean for our community.
“This has been a while coming,” said Krist Lien, PSC visual arts director. “There’s nothing like this [space] of this size around here. You have to go to Atlanta or Tallahassee to find something like this. So, for the college, this is going to be a big game changer.”
Former Pensacola mayor Mike Wiggins also expressed his belief that the art gallery would have a positive impact on the community. “Pensacola State College is on a roll,” Wiggins said.
Wiggins agreed with business attorney Doug Bates, who encouraged the audience to tell at least five people about the gallery. “The college does good things for the community, but this facility especially will be good for the community with all the things that could go on here,” Bates said.
The art gallery is open to the public in building 15. More information about the gallery and exhibits can be found at visualarts.pensacolastate.edu.