F.W. Olin Hall for Arts and Humanities, home of the Fine Arts department, offers students a unique opportunity to experience the energy and excitement of the arts. Considered one of the best arts facilities in the state, Olin Hall provides students with the opportunity for scholarly and creative involvement in art, art history, music, and theatre arts.
Olin Hall serves as a major cultural arts center for the Roanoke Valley. Some of the outstanding facilities available in Olin Hall include a 404-seat main stage theatre with the latest in computerized lighting and sound systems; a 125-seat recital hall; a 500-seat outdoor amphitheater; versatile classrooms; art studios; a fine arts library; practice rooms; a 100-seat studio theatre; a dance and rehearsal hall; faculty offices; a sculpture platform garden; and a Concert Grand Steinway “D” piano.
In studio art, students in Olin Hall can develop their creativity in modern and fully-equipped painting, drawing, design, graphic art, computer, photography, printmaking, ceramic, and sculpture studios and laboratories. Art History allows students to discover, examine, and analyze the visual masterworks of the past and relate them to contemporary understanding of social, political, religious, and aesthetic issues. Running parallel to the active studio & art history programs for students is the Olin Hall gallery program, which presents an annual season of nine art exhibitions and events complementing art & art history studies, as well as national touring exhibitions from such institutions as the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Smithsonian. In addition, student works are exhibited annually in Olin Hall, culminating in the art majors’ exhibition held each year in the Olin and Smoyer Galleries.
In music, a student may audition for the Roanoke College Choir which performs at special events and on-campus and off-campus programs throughout the year. A Spring tour is often a part of the choir’s schedule. The Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble perform four concerts a year as well as provide musical support for the College’s spring commencement ceremony and several sporting events. Student Chamber Ensembles and soloists perform on the Tuesday at Noon music venue. Olin Hall also provides opportunities to hear the College’s resident chamber ensemble, the Kandinsky Trio.
In theatre, students audition for parts in several theatrical productions each year. Shows have included Twelfth Night, Dracula, The Glass Menagerie, The Skin of Our Teeth, Hedda Gabler, Bus Stop, The Heidi Chronicles, Little Shop of Horrors, Five Women Wearing the Same Dress, Godspell, The Laramie Project, Antigone, and Miss Julie. Participation in theatre at Roanoke College gives students experience in acting, makeup, set design, lighting, publicity, and other phases of production. This experience is available to students from all majors at the College.