“This will be the shining beacon of West Boundary,” SCAD President Paula Wallace said at the groundbreaking ceremony this past Thursday, referring to the new museum that will be built behind the existing Kiah Hall.
Kiah Hall, the current SCAD museum, was just given a large contribution of African American art from Savannah native Dr. Walter Evans. To house the new collection, Evans and SCAD have come together to create what will be “The Louvre in the United States,” according to Dr. Evans.
“I didn’t get to go to a museum till I was 19 years old. I can’t say that I didn’t get to go. I didn’t go. Maybe I wasn’t allowed down here in the South, but by the time I moved up North, I had no interest. If you can get [children] to go to museums when they are young will do better in school. I fully believe that those who appreciate art and certain types of music will do better in math and science. So that’s why I want this center to be open and accessible to public school[s]. “ Evans said.
The intended plan for the Evans Center is to extend Kiah Hall further west toward Turner House. The plan includes a light tower, which Wallace has called the “shining beacon” for West Boundary Street. The plans for the new complex are currently on display in Kiah Hall.
“There were many museums that wanted the collection, major museums, but I had already moved back down here. I wanted it to stay here for it. I would not have given it if [SCAD] had not asked.” Evans said.
The date of completion for the Evans Center has yet to be determined as Wallace explained: “We are starting now. We’re going to build half of it. It will have some classroom space as well as gallery space and an auditorium.” said Wallace.
“This will be of course open to every major. There is going to be something for every student to gain here,” she added.
Photos by Vicky JenkinsonContact Lee Burbage.