What better place for a college campus focused on the arts than in the middle of Beaufort – recently ranked #12 on the "Top 25 Small Cities for Art" by American Style magazine?

According to the list, Beaufort beat out Aspen Colorado, Laguna Beach California and even Naples, Florida. With this in mind, it seems a thriving baccalaureate art program and USCB’s Historic Beaufort Campus, located along the waterfront of Carteret Street, is the perfect marriage of place and program.

The plan for a “niche campus” began to crystallize when the university recently received all official approvals for a new Studio Art major. USCB plans to invest approximately $200,000 of stimulus money into jump-starting a fortified art program based on the downtown Beaufort campus. That money will go to renovate existing spaces into state-of-the-art studios and classrooms, purchase new art curricula-related equipment and the creation of a ceramics studio. The Studio Art program is scheduled to launch officially in the spring of 2010. Through the generous gift of the Heritage Foundation of the Lowcountry, two arts classrooms have already been modified.

Dr. Michael Parsons, Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, said, “Arts on our Historic Beaufort Campus makes sense. What better place to study art than in the middle of a historic town full of natural beauty which is receiving national accolades for its rich arts culture.”

According to Assistant Professor of Studio Art, Jon Goebel, “Many Beaufort County high schools are now delivering quality arts education programs to their students. Students who find that’s where their passion lies will now be able to pursue a four-year art degree and do it affordably, since they won’t have to leave the Lowcountry.”

Students who choose Studio Art as their major will take majority of their courses on the Historic Beaufort Campus. The new program is intended to offer a high-quality, low-cost art program responding to the needs of the region and the natural attributes of the area.

For more information about the University of South Carolina Beaufort, please visit www.uscb.edu online or call the university’s Office of Public Information at 843-208-8030.