Wanlass Center for Art Education & Research

How do we adapt for 21st century learning?

How does the museum experience need to evolve so that all visitors have a rich learning experience?

The Wanlass Center for Art Education & Research will be a place where scholars, USU students, K-12 classes and the community are welcomed to interface with artwork and collections in a more intimate, focused, and accessible environment.


The new 9,450 square-foot Art Education and Research Center will provide:

  • A study center with an open work area/classroom, research library and visible collection storage that allows us to easily pull and display a wide range of artworks for classes or groups to access, interact discuss and research.
  • A multi-purpose studio classroom that will be used for art-making projects in K-12, USU Arts Education courses and community classes and groups and will include display niches where art from the collection can be displayed for inspiration and discussion.
  • Dedicated visible, compaction art storage for collection growth.

Visitors may use the new facility in a customized way to support curriculum, academic or personal learning interests. This facility has the capacity to add quality to the depth of education for all students, scholars, and the general public. Furthermore, it provides a richer experience for K-12 and community learning about museums.

wanlass center digital rendering view facing southeast
wanlass center digital rendering view facing east

Project Goals & Impact

  • Expand opportunities for engagement with art that are both unique and complementary to the museum’s current offerings.
  • Provide accessible, visible collection storage for current and future growth.
  • Share how we store, care, and track artworks.
  • Enable classes to meet and discuss specific artworks extensively that have been brought out of collection storage
  • Allow scholars to spend time with works of art and museum staff to support their research endeavors
  • Provide a library that offers books specific to the museum’s collection
  • Establish a multi-purpose studio space for faculty to teach art integrated courses or single classes and for community and K-12 groups to make art
  • Expand the collection to include works that fill gaps and add depth to our current holdings
  • Secure NEHMA’s position as a national leader of museums focused on American art
  • Enable classes of all ages and abilities to meet and spend time with specific artworks through a personalized approach and a safe environment
  • Provide a unique museum experience for all visitors
  • Be a destination for tourist and travelers