St. Vincent College officially dedicated the Verostko Center for the Arts on Wednesday, 19 months after the April 23, 2020, date the college originally intended to dedicate the space.

The delays, according to the center’s director Andrew Julo, were attributed to the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions at the school.

That time, he said, just offered evidence of the “power and fragility of an interconnected world,” said Julo. Another commonality, he added, was the lesson of just how important art was during that unprecedented time.

In addition to holding the in-person dedication, Wednesday’s event was also livestreamed on the Zoom platform, where some guests unable to attend were able to witness the event.

The VCA is housed in the Dale P. Latimer Library, which underwent a $22 million renovation as part of the St. Vincent College “Forward, Always Forward” comprehensive campaign and was opened in spring 2020.

The space is dedicated to the advancement and integration of the arts within the St. Vincent College community. The center devotes more than 5,000 square feet to hosting rotating exhibitions that present work by contemporary artists, as well as selections from the college’s vast holdings. The center also cares for more than 4,000 objects — from ancient to contemporary pieces in a variety of media — that form St. Vincent College and St. Vincent Archabbey’s permanent art collection.

“This space commemorates an understanding and appreciation of the art, its makers and the communities from which it is derived,” said Julo.

The center is aptly named after Roman Verostko, who graduated from the college in 1955 and the seminary in 1959. Verostko is a professor emeritus at Minneapolis College of Art and Design and an internationally-recognized artist, particularly in the development of generative, algorithmic art.

The VCA holds the largest collection of Verostko’s work in the world, ranging from commissioned murals and interactive sculpture to pen-plotted drawings and time-based media projects. Verostko’s work at the college includes the tile mural that served as a backdrop for the dedication and the upside-down mural located in the Fred Rogers Center on campus.

At the dedication, St. Vincent College President the Rev. Paul R. Taylor, OSB, called Verostko “a lifelong friend” of St. Vincent. Taylor went on to say that his “tenacious” approach to utilizing computer code for creative purposes and his dedication to intersecting disciplines made him the perfect individual to name the center after. Verostko said St. Vincent is the place where he really learned to think.

“A lot of thought and thinking...that has gone on to create this exhibition,” said Verostko.

Taylor said the true visionary of the project was the Rev. Douglas Nowicki, OSB, who began the project when he was Archabbot of St. Vincent.

“I will confirm in my life and since that Archabbot Nowicki did much of the work to encourage and make possible this art center that we are dedicating this evening,” said Verostko.

Following the dedication, St. Vincent College held a ribbon cutting and reception.

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