Tyler School of Art students will soon call 12th and Norris streets their new home, even though they seem content to stay at their secluded, picturesque Elkins Park campus.
The new Tyler School of Art will be built near the School of Communications and Theater and the Esther Boyer College of Music, to create what President David Adamany called a “mini arts campus,” according to a Jan. 27 article in . The building is expected to be complete in 2007.
Despite claims of better resources and facilities as a result of relocating to Main Campus, Tyler students are skeptical.
Junior transfer student Richard Wren thinks the higher costs of materials in the city will limit resources and affect Tyler’s programs. Wren is specifically concerned about the price of glass, since Tyler’s glass program was his reason for transferring to Temple from Bucks County Community College.
“As soon as costs go up, the programs will be downsized or limited. It’s ridiculous that this whole campus will be consolidated into one building,” Wren said.
Wren described Tyler as having a comfortable environment that is conducive to artistic thought. He talked about Tyler’s community and atmosphere.
“Everyone knows each other, and there is specialized attention. The fact that this school is completely dedicated to art and its isolated makes people feel safe. A lot of kids here are sensitive, and geared to this environment. The artistic person is [part of] a different breed of people. They know what they want and there is less of a chance of anybody feeling alienated [here].”
As for Tyler’s move to Main Campus, Wren has not warmed up to the idea.
“There really is no point. Art students want to come here, not to Main Campus. If I wanted to be in the city I’d go to University of the Arts.”
Other students felt similarly about Tyler’s move from its scenic estate to urban North Philly.
“I like going outside and not seeing the city,” junior Elizabeth Hays said. “Being in art school is such a high stress; it’s nice that it’s peaceful here,” she said.
Hays lived on Main Campus her first year at Temple before transferring to Tyler, mentioning the quiet, secluded campus as part of her reasoning for doing so.
“It’s such a nice campus, and there are so many outdoor events here,” Hays said.
Sarah Kosiol said, “It’s really pretty here, and I like the fact that everyone is an artist.”
Kosiol, a first semester transfer student, said Tyler captures the small-art-school feel she was looking for. She is concerned about Tyler losing its comforting familiarity by moving to Main Campus.
“It’s going to feel like I’m going to a really big school,” Kosiol said. “Here, you know everyone’s faces and you see teachers around all the time. Teachers know we are art students, and they know how many projects we get,” she said.
Elizabeth Hays was equally uneasy about the loss of the friendly community at Tyler.
“You can walk around Main Campus all day and not see anyone – that sucks,” Hays said.
Hays and Kosiol worry about fewer opportunities to display art around Main Campus than at Tyler.
“There are art projects all over campus here; I don’t think we’ll have as much freedom to do that on Main Campus,” Kosiol said.
Some Tyler students attempted to look at the advantages of the relocation of their school, but cannot ignore the drawbacks. Fourth-year student Aaron Sales said he has mixed feelings about moving to Main Campus.
“Artists, especially graphic designers, draw from a lot of different resources. Being in touch with people like engineers could be an advantage,” Sales said. “But this campus gives Tyler its draw and its community,” he added.
First-year student Annie Hard sees better access to the city and more opportunities to get involved in city life and art as advantages to the move. Despite this plus, she too has reservations about the busy atmosphere on Main Campus. Hard thinks the environment may stifle the creativity of students.
“I really like the isolation [at Tyler]. There is always creative energy flowing. [On Main Campus] there is nowhere to get away from stuff and just have a creative thought,” she said.
Freshman Gerald Petorle thinks students should have been consulted about the relocation.
“I understand they’re trying to give us more room in studios, and better equipment, but they could have consulted a group of students about it before they just decided to move us,” Petorle said.
Kristin Maranki can be reached at email@example.com.