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Restored arts building to be dedicated at WMC


Formal dedication of the restored and remodeled Fine Arts Building on the campus of Western Maryland College will be at 4 p.m. Friday in the Alumni Hall theater.

The college also will honor Clementine L. Peterson, college trustee emerita and Baltimore philanthropist who donated $1 million toward the project in 1993, by naming this building Clementine and Duane L. Peterson Hall.

Gary Vikan, an internationally known scholar who is director of the Walters Art Gallery, will give an address, "Art in Our World, Art in Our Lives: The Aesthetic Trace Element," at the dedication ceremony.

A ribbon-cutting and reception in Peterson Hall will follow the brief dedication ceremony.

Peterson Hall was built in 1909 as the college's first free-standing library. It was designed by Jackson C. Gott and is one of several WMC buildings listed on the National Historic Register.

NB For at least three decades, the structure has been the home of

the college's department of art and art history. Architects for the restoration project are from Centerbrook of Essex, Conn. The contractor is Roy Kirby & Sons Inc. of Baltimore.

Peterson Hall's main floor now features a computer graphics area, art history classrooms, faculty offices and slide-preparation areas. The lower floor includes a photography laboratory and design and drawing studio. The top floor has been restored to the sophisticated art gallery that it was in the 1960s with English white oak paneling, stucco pilasters and cornices.

The building's exterior will be cleaned, and the structure will be fully accessible to handicapped people via an indoor elevator and outdoor ramps. New wiring and mechanical systems and a new roof with a skylight is also part of the project.

After the dedication, guests are invited to the inaugural exhibit in Gallery One, which features sculptures by H. I. Gates of Frederick that were inspired by samurai armor and pre-Columbian and tribal arts from the private collection of Eva Blum and her late husband, Albert.

Information: 857-2292.

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