Marist Steel Plant: New Fashion and Art & Digital Media Building

It’s been a really good evolution of the program
academically. In terms of expanding the curriculum over
the years. Building very strong majors in design and
merchandising. The team has been growing in terms of the
educators. The student body has been growing tremendously. We’re up to nearly 500 majors at this point. And the Steel Plant is sort of the perfect
missing piece. Now the facilities will match the best in
the world, in terms of other institutions. Stem to stern, the building is everything
we could ask for and everything that any fashion or art student could ask for. A critical element of the Marist education
is what I call the practical application of theory. Our students across every discipline don’t
just do book learning, you know learn the concepts and the theories behind things, but
they have a charge to practically apply that in capping classes and internships and collaboration
and research with faculty. So when you think about a space like this
and you think about the combination of these disciplines, it’s natural that you want to create a space
that is more than just a classroom space where you learn theory, but it’s a practical space. It’s an application of theory space. It’s a place for innovation, experimentation,
creation. So we worked very hard. Working with faculty, students, staff, our architectural firm, to ensure that we
had a space that reflected that, but also tied itself to the history of the Hudson Valley
which is what this building does. The fashion program has reached these great
heights without having the facilities that really are equal to the work that they’ve
done. Now with this building, they do have a facility
that equals the work that they do. And our art students have done also remarkable
work and now they have a space to inspire them and to showcase what they do. So it’s just one of the great moments in our
college’s recent history. It’ll be really nice to have a place to call
home. And for students coming in to see such a great
space and like such a way to communicate their ideas properly, you really need a clean bright space
just to think. It’s kind of like having a blank canvas if
you think about it, and you can just put on your creative ideas there. That’s when the ideas from your mind start
being translated into a physical space. I think one of the most important features
of the building is that it’s such a collaborative space. The Winter Garden presents a beautiful inspiring
area. Wonderful cafe, easy access to all the technology
labs that are downstairs, and the galleries will be downstairs. MPorium, which is the fashion program retail
laboratory which makes great use of entrepreneurial skills from the students, which has gone from
a little kiosk type of business in our previous location to a full on luxurious 5th Avenue
ready sort of retail space. I think there’s a lot of opportunity within
the building. But I think it’s also on the student to take
advantage of that opportunity. I like this program a lot because it’s all
what you make of it. The more opportunity that you want to take
on and the more opportunity that you see for yourself, it’s available now and more than
ever before.

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