While St. Ambrose students went home for a break from their studies this summer, work crews have been busy bees in the Galvin Fine Arts Center.
Many people worked through the summer on renovations to get the center ready for a new year of fine arts. As the finishing touches were completed during the first week of early move-in, both new and returning students alike watched with curiosity and speculated about what changes awaited their return.
Although Galvin is the same building that returning arts students are used to, quite a few renovations now allow Galvin to offer even more to students and faculty. One of the most notable changes is a new line set, or "fly" system, in the Allaert Auditorium. This system allows curtains, lights, and set pieces to move up and down in the theater. The replacement process included recabling and establishing a new counterweight system.
These changes make using the fly system much safer than the previous system. In prior years, students taking the First Year Theatre Experience class were warned of the possible safety hazards of misusing the fly system. While a safety lesson still is certainly important, new students and crew members will be much safer around the new system due to protection and locks around the heavy counterweights.
Other renovations in the theater may be more obvious to Galvin visitors, especially during performances.
New lighting and sound systems were also installed in the Allaert Auditorium over the summer. The lighting renovations feature new LED moving fixtures, which are very welcome. One example of this type of light's versatility could be seen in 2016's tech-heavy production of The Tempest. In addition, a new lighting position was added to help more effectively light the front of the stage.
Sound during performances will now be much improved due to a completely new center cluster of speakers and a new lavalier microphone set (small body microphones) for performers.
These renovations arrived just in time for performances to begin September 15-16 with Paris en Pointe and then Rumors on October 5-7.
Galvin Fine Arts Center
Improvements made to this performance space included a new line set, lighting, roof, and sound (speakers and mics). Additionally, the Studio Theatre received new paint and the dressing rooms were remodeled.
Other renovations include remodeled dressing rooms underneath the main stage, a newly repainted Studio Theatre, and a new roof for the raised portion of Galvin (above the new fly system) that accommodates raised lines, curtains, and drops. Tuckpointing also was done on the east side of Galvin to help keep water from leaking into the art wing.
Lance Sadlek, director of the Galvin Fine Arts Center, is pleased with the new changes.
"The renovations might be things you don't necessarily see, but they definitely will enhance future performances," Sadlek said.
Though some things at the Galvin Fine Arts Center have changed slightly, some things never change, like the energy and creativity of the fine arts community of students, teachers, performers, and staff. Galvin's fine artists, as usual, could not be more excited for what they are preparing to bring you this year and for the new changes that will help them bring performances and shows to life!