Retelling the Story of Creation Through Art in the New Jack and Mary De Witt Center for Science and Technology
by Kristina Garvelink (M.S. ’15)
For Cornerstone University, the new Jack and Mary De Witt Center for Science and Technology has more than a functional purpose. In addition to being a state-of-the-art academic building with spacious lab facilities, expanded classrooms and designated group study areas, the building's design and artwork incorporate visual reminders of the work of Christ as Creator.
Dr. Stowell, president of Cornerstone, expressed excitement and gratitude for a science facility that points people to Christ as Creator.
"You signature a building through art and artistic statements," Stowell said. "Science is the discovery of everything Christ has created, so we now get to signature this building to the glory of Christ the Creator."
The lobby of the three-story building features natural materials and unique live elements, including a custom fish aquarium and live wall. Lit by natural light and a solar system chandelier that projects a rotation of Bible verses and campus messages onto the floor three stories below, the interior's stone walls display engravings of Colossians 1:16 and Isaiah 40:28, in addition to Scripture references from the books of Genesis and Psalms.
In the spring, a creation-themed sculpture crafted by artist Albert Paley will complete the building's exterior landscaping plan. Coordinated and partially underwritten by Howard and Roberta Ahmanson, university donors and art patrons, the metal sculpture will stand 25 feet high, present the stages of creation and showcase how all aspects of creation originate from Christ. The installation will make Cornerstone home to two Paley sculptures.
"At Cornerstone, we think art is an important aspect of our educational environment because it provides visual reminders of values and truths that we think are important for students to absorb," Stowell reflected. "Art and stories about art are exclamation points to realities that are core to our beliefs."
Designed by Progressive AE, a predominantly Michigan-based architecture and engineering firm, and constructed by The Christman Company, the partners who built the university's Christ Chapel, the science building is scheduled to open to the public on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018.
Join us to celebrate the dedication of the Jack and Mary De Witt Center for Science and Technology on Dec. 7 at 10 a.m. The service will coincide with the university's traditional undergraduate chapel service and include worship, a ribbon cutting and building tours.