A Wilmington art school has a new scholastic tech center

A Wilmington art school has a new scholastic tech center

After two years of planning and building, the Delaware College of Art and Design now has a place where students can design, build and work with tech-forward tools including 3D printers and VR.

The official opening of the Technology Center, which was funded by a grant from the Crystal Trust Foundation, was marked with a ceremony featuring speeches from DCAD students, New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer and Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki, as well as a ribbon cutting and tour on Wednesday.

DCAD President Jean Dahlgren (Technical.ly/Holly Quinn)

“I think a lot of you have the perception that most of the community does, which is inside these walls, we’re standing at easels painting with oil paint, putting things in frames and selling them in galleries,” said DCAD President Jean Dahlgren during the event.  “While we still do that, there’s a lot more going on. Art and design in the 21st century looks entirely different — I know this because I’ve been an artist and designer my entire life and I had to change. I learned graphic design back in the days when you used tape and wax and all kinds of other primitive tools. Everything was done by hand. And then somebody put a computer on my desk. Not one that you see today, it’s in some antique store. They said you have to learn and I did. And we had to change, and we had to change again. DCAD is ready for change.”

Dahlgren also announced that DCAD received a $1.5 million cultural access grant from the state — funds she said the small private art school was able to attain because of the uncommon accessibility of Delaware policymakers. A scholarship program, “Make a Million,” was also announced and is currently raising funds to help students interested in pursuing an AFA degree.

Two DCAD partners, Futures First Gaming and the construction firm Taylor Kline, were also highlighted.

The Tech Center features tools and equipment found in innovative maker spaces, including five 3D printers, a large resin printer, two laser cutters, a vinyl cutter, two 3D scanners and a Waterjet cutter.

One of the coolest features is a space called “The Vault” — literally the original vault from when the school was the Delaware Power and Light Building. It features a lounge with a large smart TV, an Oculus 3D VR system, game consoles and computers.

Check out what the space looks like:

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