Colby-Sawyer College will celebrate the grand opening of its Center for Art + Design with a public reception on Friday, Oct. 13, from 4 to 7 p.m. Guests are invited to explore the 15,000-square-foot facility, view the inaugural exhibition and extend the evening with a theater performance. The event is free.

Made possible by sustained fundraising efforts, the $7 million, 15,000 square-foot facility situated on the southeast end of campus has views of Mount Kearsarge and an outdoor sculpture garden. Inside, it boasts the state-of-the-art John and Heidi Niblack Black Box Theater; ceramics, graphic design, painting and sculpture studios; the Bill and Sonja Davidow '56 Fine Art Gallery; and faculty offices. The center was designed by the S/L/A/M Collaborative of Glastonbury, Conn., which also designed the Ware Student Center expansion (2013).

The grand opening will feature “Inner Visions: Selections from the Collection of Beverly Stearns Bernson ’55,” an extraordinary exhibition composed primarily of outsider art , including works by including Martin Ramirez (1895–1963), Bill Traylor (1853–1949) and Nellie Mae Rowe (1900–1982). The show will run through Dec. 10; learn more here.

Following the reception, student actors perform in the 1995 off-Broadway comedy “Sylvia” by A. R. Gurney that explores the relationship between a dog and the couple who adopts her. Tickets for the first production in the Niblack Black Box Theater are available at, through the Anne Baynes Hall Box Office at the Center for Art + Design on performance nights, or by contacting

The Arts at Colby-Sawyer

Studying the arts at Colby-Sawyer is a multidimensional experience that blends students’ creative talent with professional preparation and opportunities to learn alongside talented faculty and guest artists. Colby-Sawyer offers B.A. and B.F.A. degrees in studio art and graphic design as well as instruction in theater, dance and music. Learn more here.