Art students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln may be envious of the College of Business Administration once its new building is completed.
Project developers have allotted $87,000 to go toward the purchase of artwork for the new building, according to the project’s budget.
“Based on past experience, we anticipate this budget would cover one significant piece of art and a few minor pieces,” said Brad Muehling, lead project manager for the CBA building project.
The new building, which will be built entirely with private funds, has an overall budget of $84 million. This means the artwork budget makes up about 0.1 percent of the total cost of the new building.
Muehling said the artwork budget includes all of the actual art pieces along with the administrative costs for obtaining the artwork.
“As the plans are developed, an Art Selection Committee will be formed,” Muehling said. “The (committee) will review plans to determine where the art might best be showcased and what types of art will be acquired.”
Most of the university’s building projects include a budget for artwork. For example, the budget for Jorgensen Hall, the physical sciences replacement building at 16th and Vine Streets, had an artwork budget of $261,000 when the program statement was approved in 2006.
Matt Boyd, director of development for the new CBA building through the University of Nebraska Foundation, said individuals are able to donate specifically to the artwork budget for a project, but said no one has done that yet for the CBA building.
“It’s not out of the realm of possibility,” Boyd said. “We do have a couple of people who are very enthusiastic about art and we anticipate having those potential conversations in the coming months.”
Boyd said the foundation also accepts donations of actual pieces of artwork for buildings, although he said it doesn’t happen very often.
“A very select few donors will be interested in doing that,” he said. “It’s also not a certainty we would take (the artwork). It would depend whether it would fit in with the building or not.”
So far, Boyd said about $24 million has been raised for the CBA building.
Although the CBA project is privately funded, university building projects using a certain amount of state funds automatically have 1 percent of the appropriated construction costs go toward the acquisition of artwork through Nebraska’s 1 Percent for Art law.
If a new university or other state building has construction costs of $500,000 or more or renovation costs of $250,000 or more, the 1 percent law takes effect, said J.D. Hutton, artist services and communications manager with the Nebraska Arts Council. The CBA building has no requirements for public artwork because it is being funded by private donations.
Hutton said the arts program began in Nebraska in 1978 when people across the country were calling for more support for the arts.
“There was a really strong push nationwide at that time,” she said. “The intention was to beautify the public spaces and create buildings that were attractive and inspiring.”
In the past, the 1 percent program has provided the university with several pieces of artwork, including a photograph collection of Midwest landscapes for the Department of Physics and Astronomy worth $5,000 and a commissioned mural worth $52,000, according to the Nebraska Arts Council website.
“Just because a project doesn’t trigger the 1 percent statute doesn’t mean that building won’t have artwork inside,” Hutton said. “There are a lot of artwork projects that don’t have anything to do with public funding. You just keep seeing more and more of it.”