The Department of Contemporary Art and Theater and the Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) are proud of their current joint initiative:  The Center for Contemporary Art and Theater.  Shepherd University and the Contemporary American Theater Festival are building a series of new facilities to house both the Department of Contemporary Art and Theater and The Contemporary American Theater Festival.  This new facility (Phase I opened in Spring 2008, Phase II opened in Summer 2013, Phase III is being planned) provides shared academic, performance, and production spaces and opportunities for creative interaction between faculty, students, artist, actors, directors, designers, photographers, playwrights.  Phase I and II of the Center for Contemporary Art facilities provide expansive spaces for sculpture, printmaking, drawing, painting, computer labs, darkroom, classrooms for art education, graphic design, photography/computer imagery, art history, and theater as well as office and meeting spaces for faculty and CATF

photogaph by Jeremy Blaine
Photograph by Jeremy Blaine

Phase I and II of the Center for Contemporary Art are linked with connecting patios designed for exhibiting, lounging and working out doors (weather permitting).  Students are expected to work in the facility as much as possible during open hours to foster a free exchange of creative energy among peers, faculty, and visitors.  The Center for Contemporary Art is open:

  • Monday – Thursday // 7 am – midnight
  • Friday // 7 am – 6 pm
  • Saturday // closed
  • Sunday // 5 pm – midnight

Graphic Design

The graphic design computer lab and classrooms are located on the second level of the recently completed Phase II of the Center for Contemporary Art. The space houses an array of equipment essential for the professional production work of graphic design. The computer lab consists of 20 iMac workstations, black & white laser printer, two color laser printers, scanners, and a large-format printer. Each computer contains a complete Adobe Font Library, the Adobe Creative Suite and other state-of-the-art applications.

Photography/Computer Imagery


Photography/Computer Imagery is housed in the Center for Contemporary Arts and includes a group darkroom, professional studio, and a computer lab.

The group darkroom is equipped with 15 Omega enlargers that can be used to print 35mm, medium, and large format negatives; there is an archival print washer and a print dryer for RC paper. The professional studio consists of medium and large format cameras, state-of-the-art lighting equipment, seamless backgrounds, and a 44-inch large-format color inkjet printer.

photo computer lab

The computer lab contains 18 Macintosh iMacs, multiple scanners, a color laser printer, and a 24-inch large-format color inkjet printer. Each computer is equipped with the Adobe Creative Suite, Adobe Lightroom, Final Cut Express, Roxio Toast, and other state-of-the-art applications. The equipment in the lab is updated every three years with the latest hardware; software updates occur more frequently.

Painting/Drawing Studios

painting studio

Painting/Drawing occupies approximately 2 thousand square feet in the Center for Contemporary Art.  The space is illuminated with North facing clerestory windows, a large glass garage doors and windows.  The concrete floor reassures students that working aggressively and generating a mess are all part of the creative process.  There are several white tackable walls for critique and display of finished works.

Because the space is large enough to accommodate more than one activity at a time, faculty embrace the idea of students working along side other classes.  In this way students may learn from other faculty and students as they make progress on works for a variety of classes and assignments.

Non-toxic Printmaking

printmaking studio

Printmaking is a non-toxic studio housed in the Center for Contemporary Art.  Printmaking in this studio is focused on the use of techniques that are safe and less hazardous to the artist and the environment.  Many traditional printmaking techniques have been converted to non-toxic methods and new innovative approaches to non-toxic printmaking are encouraged.  The print studio has intaglio presses and lithography presses and the equipment necessary for hand printing within a wide range of processes.


The sculpture facility has over 6000 square feet of contemporary lofted workspace in the recently completed Phase II of the Center for Contemporary Art. The facility hosts fabrication equipment for working with wood, metal and plastics. Facilities for molding rubbers, plastics, ceramics; and a foundry for both ferrous and non-ferrous metals provide an array of experimental options. Additionally, digital technology for 3D modeling, CNC milling of plastics, wood and metals and 3D printing are available as a part of the Fablab, an interdisciplinary space hosted by the sculpture department.

Art Education

art education studio

The Art Education Programs enjoys its own permanent space in the Center for Contemporary Art. Program students are expected to think of themselves as both artists and intellects. Placement within the Center for Contemporary Art grants them access to both realms. The classroom houses a library of useful textbooks and contemporary reference materials and is flanked by studio art classrooms. It is fully stocked with K-12 art supplies and presentation equipment.