The arts corridor is intended to more visibly link Appalachian’s arts-related venues across campus. It starts behind Wey Hall and the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts as a way to improve traffic flow and will eventually end at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, pictured in foreground. Click on the image for a full view. Photo by Marie Freeman
The arts corridor is one of several major construction projects underway at Appalachian State University to enhance the Appalachian Experience.
The project supports the strategic plan of Appalachian and the university’s goals and metrics associated with the University of North Carolina System’s strategic plan. It will benefit students, athletics and the community.
This corridor will unite the two halves of Appalachian’s campus, as referenced in the Master Plan 2025 (page 41), while connecting the arts, transportation and university events.
The first portion of the arts corridor, Blue Ridge Way, was completed in time for the Aug. 31, 2019, football game. It connects the Stadium Parking Deck adjacent to Frank and Belk residence halls to the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts and Wey Hall, which houses the Department of Art. The rest of the arts corridor would more visibly link the Schaefer Center, Wey Hall and the Broyhill Music Center — all located to the south of Rivers Street — with the university’s other key arts facilities north of Rivers Street: Chapell Wilson Hall, which houses the Department of Theatre and Dance; Valborg Theatre; and the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts.
The first portion of the arts corridor, Blue Ridge Way, was completed in August 2019. The next phase was completed in summer 2020 when the university brought nationally known artist duo Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn to paint a mural on the campus staircase leading to the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts (TCVA), which is located on the King Street end of the arts corridor.
In fall 2021, the segment of the corridor located adjacent the Turchin Center, Valborg Theatre and Belk Library will begin to take shape, as sculpture pads are poured and prepared to showcase works of outdoor sculpture. These sculptures will complement the annual Rosen Sculpture Exhibition installations, as well as the Turchin Center's staircase mural, as public art continues to flourish on App State's campus and enhance the cultural life of the campus community.
How is it funded?
The university used Transportation and Parking Reserves funds in 2019 to design and complete the first section of the arts corridor, called Blue Ridge Way, since this section improves emergency access and serves as an additional vehicle exit during campus events with large attendance. No official planning funds have been invested in the remainder of the arts corridor. The mural at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts (TCVA) was funded by the TCVA with funds raised through contributions.
Who will benefit?
All members of the campus and local communities benefit. Eventually, those walking through campus will have a more clearly marked route, which also would guide them to various arts facilities, including the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts and the gateway to King Street in downtown Boone.
How does it support UNC System Goals and Metrics?
The safety, health, wellness and enjoyment of all members of the Appalachian Community, including visitors, are of utmost concern to the university, as each makes possible personal, academic and institutional success.
Major current projects:
An aerial view of areas receiving millennial campus designation at Appalachian State University. Video by Marie Freeman