The Ferguson Center for the Arts.
Christopher Newport University began in 1960 as a two-year branch of the College of William & Mary, became a complete university in 1992 and is named after the Captain Christopher Newport, who captained a ship that went to Jamestown and the Virginia Colony. In 2005 the Ferguson Center for the Arts opened and was designed by the world-renowned architect, I.M. Pei. He is best known for his work in creating the glass and steel pyramid for the Louvre. He also designed the East Building for the National Gallery of Art.
Both the Falk Gallery of Art and the Ferguson Hall Gallery are located in the Ferguson Center for the Arts. It is named after Homer L. Ferguson, who was the president of the nearby Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company. Along with many other community engagements, he was very influential in the area. The Falk Gallery of Art was dedicated on May 7, 1989 and is named for Emanuel E. and Jean B. Falk, two individuals who were very dedicated to the arts at Christopher Newport University.
Inside of the Ferguson Center for the Arts.
When the Ferguson Center for the Arts opened, The Falk Gallery of Art relocated. Now hosting six exhibitions per academic year, it is considered the main gallery on campus. In 2006, the Ferguson Hall Gallery was added. Shows in the gallery include several annual exhibits such as the Christopher Newport University Juried Photography Exhibition and the Christopher Newport University Juried Art Majors Show. Christopher Newport University’s Fine Art and Art History departments run both galleries, hosting exhibits that include work from national as well as local artists. While multiple pieces of sculpture are displayed throughout the campus, neither the Falk nor Ferguson Hall house permanent art collections. The gallery areas also serve as a professional studio space for fine art majors.
Christopher Newport University prides itself for being active in the arts. The Ferguson Center for the Arts not only acts as a site to exhibit and view the arts, it serves as a center for education. As gallery manager Elaine Viel, states, “We use both galleries as primarily a didactic tool for the benefit of our students. We bring in outside artists for exhibition and often the artists will come to campus to meet with and interact with our students.” In addition to providing a location to learn and study art, the Ferguson Center for the Arts works in the community promoting the arts. The program called Arts for All helps at-risk communities attend events at the Ferguson Center for the Arts and providing to a larger audience the ability to experience the arts.
Amy Chadick, Laine Clark, & Sharayah Cochran
*We would like to thank Elaine Viel, Gallery Manager for providing us with such useful information.