Harris Fine Arts Center

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Harris Fine Arts Center

Overview

The Harris Fine Arts Center (HFAC) is the main location for Arts study and exhibit at Brigham Young University. The HFAC houses most of the departments in the College of Fine Arts and Communications. The HFAC consists of several dedicated spaces, as well as study rooms, small painting studios, theatre work rooms, art and animation labs, class rooms, a costume studio, faculty offices, and department offices, including: the School of Music, the Department of Theatre and Media Arts, the Department of Visual Arts, the college Advisement Center and the Dean’s Office. The other college departments include the Communications Department, located in the Brimhall Building and the Department of Dance, located in the Richards Building.

BYU Arts Events, many of which take place in the HFAC, not only generate articles in the BYU paper, The Universe, but are also mentioned in state wide publications such as The Salt Lake Tribune. As well as in independent Latter-day Saint oriented magazines such as Meridian Magazine.

To see current and upcoming HFAC events, click here.

History

HFAC under construction
The HFAC was named after former Brigham Young University President, Franklin S. Harris. Harris' years of support for the arts led to the construction of the Harris Fine Arts Center. The HFAC was designed by architect William Pereira. The building was dedicated in 1965. It contains 55 practice rooms, two art galleries, five theaters/performance spaces, and nine pipe organs. The building is located immediately to the south of the Brigham Young University Museum of Art, and just north of the Wilkinson Student Center.
HFAC design mock-up
The HFAC was dedicated in 1965. Since then, the building has gone through many remodels to adapt to the changing needs of the College of Fine Arts and Communications.

During the fall of 2014 and winter of 2015, the Harris Fine Arts Center will be celebrating its 50th year as an integral part of BYU's art programs.

Within the HFAC there are several rooms and spaces named in honor of specific persons. This distinction is one of the highest offered to alumni, faculty, and Friends of the College. It creates a lasting monument to those who have helped the college to grow and succeed, building the reputation it now has today. These dedicated spaces are listed below.

B. Cecil Gates Opera Workshop

The B. Cecil Gates Opera Workshop is located right next to the de Jong Concert hall on the third and main floor of the HFAC. This room is used for rehearsals of student produced operas. It is named for B. Cecil Gates, a talented musician and BYU alumnus.

Bent F. Larsen Art Gallery

gallery view from the 5th floor
This is a three level gallery, most of the space being on the main floor with the two higher floors opening onto the main floor. Besides being used for various art displays, it serves as the lobby for most of the main theatres, such as the Pardoe, the Madsen Recital Hall and the de Jong Concert Hall.

The Larsen Art Gallery is periodically used as a site for dances and is one of the best art galleries in Provo. The gallery is also used for presentations by the BYU Conservation Laboratory of Fine Art.

De Jong Concert Hall

de Jong Concert Hall
The de Jong Concert Hall was designed by Harvey Fletcher, it is the largest room in the HFAC. It is named for Gerrit de Jong, Jr. who was the first dean of the College of Fine Arts at BYU. The hall has a seating capacity of 1,269. It is used for most concerts, both by choral groups and symphonic groups as well as many musicals, operas and dance performances. It is also used during the spring and summer terms for the weekly university devotionals. While most concerts at the de Jong are by BYU groups, prestigious outside groups such as the Utah Symphony also perform there.

Elbert H. Eastmond Art Seminar Room

This gallery, dedicated to Elbert Hindley Eastmond a former head of the Art Department. The space is just over 700 square feet (65 m2) and is designed for short showings of a broad variety of art works, including many student sculpture shows.

Franklin and Florence Jepperson Madsen Recital Hall

The Madsen recital hall accommodates choral group practices during the week. The entrances to the Madsen are located on the 4th floor. The hall is used for lectures when school is in session and it is also used for solo and chamber productions by students, faculty and visiting preforming artists.

Gallery 303

Gallery 303
Gallery 303 is a newly refurbished space in the HFAC. The gallery is located just off the south entrance of the HFAC on the main (third) floor. It is used for small gallery showings, including faculty shows, and senior showcases.

Harold Hansen Dance Rehearsal Hall

The Harold I. Hansen Dance Rehearsal Hall, located on the second floor of the HFAC, was named in honor of BYU alumnus and administrator, Harold Hansen. The hall is used to practice choreography for the school's musicals and ballets.

Miriam Nelke Experimental Theatre

This Theatre is used for Thursday college forums as well as college practices and performances. The Nelke is named in honor of Miriam Nelke, a former BYU professor and celebrity. The Theater is ideal for experimental theater and choreography, due to it's steeply sloped stadium seating. The main entrances are located on the third floor.

Philip N. Margetts Arena Theatre

This theatre is designed so that seating and acting can occur in any part of the room. The Margetts is located on the first floor of the HFAC. Due to its compact design and adaptable 360 degree seating, the Margetts lends itself to children-oriented performances. It is named in honor of Philip Nephi Margetts an early LDS pioneer and actor.

Debate Hall

Merrill Debate Theatre

The Merrill Debate Theatre, found on the second floor of the HFAC, was named after Harrison Reuben Merrill the first head of the Journalism Department at BYU. The theatre is used as a classroom, readers theatre and presentation room. The simple semi-circular design emphasizes the performer. This theater seats 100.

Pardoe Theatre

T. Earl and Kathryn Pardoe Drama Theatre

This theatre seats 509 people and is designed in a traditional presidium stage setup. It is the second largest and most popular BYU theater after the de Jong Concert hall. It is used for the colleges’ performances throughout the semester. It is named for Earl and Kathryn Pardoe, alumni of the School of Music.

References

YNEWS - The HFAC Celebrates 30 Years

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