by Bria Isaacson, News Editor

The Asbury University Art Department received a grant for $150,000 from the Windgate Charitable Foundation in December.

According to Keith Barker, chair of the Art Department, $70,000 will be used for specific equipment updates, while $80,000 will be used for scholarships.

When the Art Department wrote the grant, however, they agreed not to receive the $80,000 for scholarships until Asbury University matched half of that on their own. Therefore, the Art Department will have $120,000 for scholarships for new art majors: $80,000 from the Windgate Charitable Foundation and $40,000 from donations that Asbury has raised, according to Barker.

“Matching what they give, along with naming the scholarship after the [Windgate] Foundation, are ways that showed Windgate that Asbury is serious about raising the funds and is invested in offering quality scholarships,” Barker said. “We have already raised 75 percent of our matching responsibilities, and so are well on our way to being able to offer funds to incoming freshmen — perhaps even as early as Fall 2017.”

The Art Department has only a small pool of funds to help current art students, and there is usually not enough to attract new students, according to Barker, so the department is excited that the grant will give them the opportunity to offer scholarships and draw new students to Asbury’s art department.

“We hope that our department will grow directly because we have scholarships to offer students to help them give Asbury serious consideration as a place to study art,” Barker said.

In addition to scholarships, the Art Department will use the $70,000 for equipment, such as upgrading the department’s computer lab and providing new ceramics, printmaking and photography equipment, according to an article on Asbury University’s homepage.

These upgrades allow the department both to grow and better draw new students.

This is the second grant that the Art Department has received from the Windgate Charitable Foundation. Two years ago, Windgate awarded $48,000 for renovations that allowed for new furniture and equipment in McCreless classrooms, “aesthetic upgrades” in the Art Annex and in the printmaking studio in the McCreless basement, according to Barker.

“We hope that our department will grow directly because we have scholarships to offer students to help them give Asbury serious consideration as a place to study art.”

Junior Chris Kuhne agreed that this earlier grant really improved the department. “The last time we got a lot of updated supplies, including better paint brushes, which really helped with the figurative painting. I hope the new grant will improve the Art Annex and fix issues with some of the broken windows and doors,” he said.

Regardless, this most recent grant will support art students no matter how it is spent.

According to an article on Asbury’s homepage, Asbury’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement Charlie Shepard said, “As created beings, we believe the Lord has planted creativity deep into the hearts of His people, eager to see it emerge for the benefit of humanity. By supporting Asbury students in the visual arts, the Windgate Charitable Foundation is making a long-term investment and has endorsed the Asbury community as a place ripe with the people and talent to help uncover that creativity.”