Facilities and Resources

art-lab

The primary facility for the School of Art and Design is Jack Arends Hall (usually called the Art Building):

  • Four-story modern structure designed in the late 1960s specifically to house the art program
  • Located near the campus' historic East Lagoon

Arends Hall

  • Offices
  • Exhibition spaces
  • NIU Visual Resource Center
  • General classrooms
  • Computer labs utilized in:
    • Foundations
    • Graphic design
    • Illustration
    • Digital photo imaging
    • 3-D printing
    • Time arts courses

Studios and Workshops

  • Sculpture
  • Woodworking
  • Ceramics
  • Fiber
  • Film photography
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • 3-D printing
  • Jewelry and metalwork

Labs are located in each of the upper three floors of Arends Hall.

  • The Art Computer Lab (ACL) and Art Foundations Classroom
    • Located on the second floor of the Visual Resource Center
    • Supports an 18-seat class
    • Software required by art and other students
    • Open lab times Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Graduate Student and Faculty Lab
    • Located on the second floor of the Visual Resource Center
    • Macintosh-based six-seat computer lab
    • Brand-name and open-source software
    • Flat, sheet, transparency and slide scanners
  • Time Arts (video and animation) Classroom Lab
    • Located on the third floor
    • Windows-based 20-seat lab with Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Illustration Classroom Lab
    • Located on the third floor
    • Macintosh-based 20-seat lab with Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Photography Classroom Lab
    • Located on the third floor
    • Macintosh-based 20-seat lab with Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Visual Communications (Graphic Art and Web Design) Classroom Lab
    • Located on the third floor
    • Laptop access
  • 3-D Printing Lab
    • Located on the third and fourth floors
    • Windows-based 3-D modeling software

Lecture Halls

  • Located on the first floor
  • Windows computers
  • Laptop cabling available
  • Four 100-person rooms, one 300-person room
  • One or two digital or slide projectors available

Smart Classrooms

  • Located on the second floor
  • Fully digital projection
  • One Smart Board
  • Macintosh computers
  • Laptop and smartphone/tablet cabling available

Studio workspaces are available to you both on campus and off campus.

Jack Arends Hall Studio Spaces

  • Our students have access to technology throughout the 27 studios and labs
  • Printers up to 72 inches
  • Several Macintosh and Windows labs
  • 3-D printing technology and fabrication
  • Laser cutting capacity
  • One of the best print shops in the country
  • Two woodshops
  • A metals shop with the latest welding equipment
  • A huge studio dedicated to oil painting
  • A watercolor studio
  • Individual studios
  • An outstanding jewelry facility
  • Papermaking

Fab Lab located in Jack Arends Hall 407

  • 3-D printers
  • Laser cutter
  • CNC router
  • Vinyl cutter
  • 3-D Digital Fabrication

Grant South, floors 3-5

  • Located on-campus
  • Student and faculty spaces, primarily 2-D
  • Woodshop
  • Updated ventilation

The Fourth Street Studios

  • Located on the eastern edge of DeKalb
  • Students and faculty working primarily in 3-D media

Dedicated undergraduate studio spaces

Expectations for Studio Art Students

  • You are expected to spend considerable time outside of scheduled classes completing your various art and design projects.
  • During the regular academic year, the labs and studio spaces of Arends Hall, as well as studio spaces in other buildings dedicated to the art program, are available to you until late evening.

The School of Art and Design and the NIU Art Museum offer an ambitious program of exhibitions in several gallery spaces on campus.

  • The Jack Olson Memorial Gallery
    • Situated in the central block of the second floor of Arends Hall
    • Full-time gallery coordinator
    • A variety of instructional exhibits, undergraduate and graduate student shows, installation events, special lectures and symposia intended to complement the school's academic program
  • Gallery 215
    • Located at 215 Fourth Street
    • Half-time gallery coordinator
    • A variety of instructional exhibits, undergraduate and graduate student shows, installation events, special lectures and symposia intended to complement the school's academic program
    • Johns Gallery
      • Arends Building room 214
      • Dedicated to the exhibition of work by art students
      • Small, intimate setting
    • SOAD Chicago Gallery
      • at the NIU Chicago Center 105 W. Madison
      • Undergraduate, graduate, alumni exhibitions
      • Art works displayed in the lobby of the NIU Chicago Center
  • Whitney Reynolds Gallery
    • East of Boutell Concert Hall, Music Building
    • Undergraduate and graduate exhibitions  
Student work is additionally shown in wall and hall cases located on each of the four floors.

Other NIU Exhibition Spaces

  • Holmes Student Center
    • Student-operated exhibition space
  • Fine Arts House gallery space
    • University residential dorm in the Neptune North building complex located in the central campus area
    • Reserved for undergraduate students who have declared majors in art, music, or theater and dance.
  • NIU Art Museum
    • Located in the west wing of Altgeld Hall's first floor
    • Multiple exhibitions and installations are concurrently scheduled in the museum's galleries featuring the work of major contemporary and regionally significant artists as well as special-focus and thematic exhibitions of artwork