The University of Alabama at Birmingham broke ground on its new visual arts center on Friday.
The Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts will house the College of Arts and Science's Department of Art and Art History. The $12.5 million facility is expected to open by June of 2013.
"We're especially grateful to Judy and Hal Abroms and Ruth and Marvin Engel, longtime patrons of the arts at UAB, for their generous lead gifts for this project and for their shared vision of the importance of having this facility on our campus," said UAB President Carol Garrison. "This institute will increase our exhibition space nearly three-fold, allowing us to produce, curate and host exhibits of greater scope. This is the beginning of a legacy of pioneering and engaging achievements in the visual arts and arts scholarship."
The building will complete UAB's Cultural Arts District that is composed of the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center and the Humanities Building.
"Just as UAB's Alys Stephens Center is Birmingham's 'home for the performing arts,' we are very excited about this institute becoming a new 'home for the visual arts,'" Garrison said.