Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts opening in 2024


Jason May

The Construction site of the new Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts at OSU in Corvallis, Ore, on Thursday, October 20, 2022.

David Li, News Contributor

The Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts is Oregon State University’s new arts center under construction, currently set to open in the spring of 2024.

According to Peter Betjemann, the Patricia Valian Reser director of Arts and Education, the arts center will be a world-class facility for rehearsals and developing shows and exhibitions — the first space that OSU will have built specifically for the arts.

Unlike other performance venues on campus, the venues in the PVRCCA have been designed around the specific requirements of the art forms they present.

For example, wooden fins and acoustical banners in the recital hall are designed to be adjustable for different types of music. According to Betjemann, an overhead tension grid in the theater space allows for projectors, lights and speakers to be hung in a large amount of configurations, along with pinrails on the walls that accommodate the equipment. There are a number of audio visual systems in the center that have been specifically designed as well.

“The AV systems have been designed for the unique requirements of theater, music, digital art installation and other mediums, and include the latest technologies to create illusory, immersive and aesthetically brilliant effects,” Betjemann said. “These functions are unique and non-replicated elsewhere on campus.” 

The PVRCCA will also contain four main performance venues: a 500-seat recital hall, black box theater, art gallery, and outdoor performance stage, featuring live events, exhibitions, and learning opportunities related to the arts.

The facility will double as an educational space as well, featuring backspace areas that will double as classrooms and a lobby that will function as a student lounge, ad hoc performance space, and a waiting area for patrons.

“The goal of the PVRCCA is to act as a hub for arts activity across the institution,” said Betjemann.

According to Betjemann, the arts center will attract visitors from across Oregon and guests artists from around the world, along with showcasing innovative ways of engaging with today’s issues and providing experiences that relate art with science and technology.

Ultimately, the arts center’s goals and vision will follow the strategic plan set by a  committee through a months-long process involving dozens of stakeholder groups and individuals.

The plan includes establishing the center as the central hub and resource for all arts programming at OSU, relating its arts presentation efforts to contemporary issues, providing learning and internship opportunities for students, and creating opportunities that address cultural and economic barriers to involvement with art spaces, among many other goals.

“The PVRCCA aims to use the arts to amplify engagement with issues that matter, to elevate marginalized voices, and to integrate arts-based ways of thinking with the habits of mind belonging to science, technology, and applied areas,” said Betjemann. “In all my activities, I am guided by our mission statement and strategic goals.”

While the PVRCCA will not offer curriculum or courses on its own, the center intends to partner to create a new curriculum related to transmedia creative expression, arts administration and other areas.

According to Julie Drolet, project manager for OSU, Funding for the Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts includes gifts, donations, state bonds and college and university funds. A construction milestone was passed in mid-October, celebrated with a Steel Topping ceremony where the team working on the project gathered for the last piece of steel to be put in place. The next construction milestone in the construction schedule is to install the roofing.

The art for the arts center will feature works produced at OSU and beyond. This will include students as well as local, regional, national, and international artists.

Students can also see the progress of construction which is on schedule, on the OSU website, where construction is monitored by a webcam. The link is included below.

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