Clarice Forum Previews Potential College Park Arts Venue

Correction: Garth Rockcastle, former dean of architecture at the university, and the firmMeyer, Scherer & Rockcastle (MSR) is participating in the design of art house. We originally reported he was the “former dean and professor of this university’s school of architecture and is in charge of designing the Art House.”


This university’s student body will have access to the arts in a new way with the conception of “Art House,” a performing arts venue, restaurant and bar along Route 1. It is slated to open next fall.  

The name “Art House” is temporary. Its conceptual exhibit at The Clarice’s NextNOW Fest conveyed the owner’s plan to facilitate an emergence of the arts in downtown College Park.

“It’s supposed to bring together the artistic community of College Park, both the residents and students,” Monica Albizo, a sophomore theatre major and student ambassador for The Clarice, said. “[It’s to] revamp the college-town feel of it.”

There was a blackboard near the back of the exhibit where people were encouraged to write, with glow-in-the-dark markers, how they imagine the finished art house.

On the blackboard, students wrote their ideas for Art House, which ranged from “painting classes” to “craft beer,” and “lazer tag.”

Ellie Glicksman, a sophomore nursing major, said that she drew a picture of a person performing on the blackboard.

As a self-proclaimed visual artist, she said that she is excited for the art house because she also enjoys listening and watching performances.

“I think more places where people can go and perform or just get noticed and have fun [are good],” Glicksman said.

The Clarice is teaming up with Philadelphia music venue, MilkBoy, for the project. MilkBoy allegedly aided the resurgence of an area in Philadelphia surrounding Thomas Jefferson University.

The Art House’s establishment in College Park is unique in that nothing like it exists along Route 1.

Simone Thomas, a junior broadcast journalism major said that Route 1 lacks variety and that art house will be good because it is something different.

“I think people will like it,” she said. “It’s something else to do aside from going to a party because that gets old some of the time.”

Thomas said that it reminded her of what is available in D.C. but that because art house is a lot closer, students can have a sense of the city without actually going so far.

Some visitors at the exhibit said that they had not heard about art house prior to the event.

Linda Wang, a junior biology major, did not know about the concept before NextNOW Fest but said that she hopes that the on-campus dance group that she is a part of can perform there when it opens.

“Especially because it’s on Route 1, it’s really accessible,” she said. “I think it will definitely bring a lot of people in.”

Garth Rockcastle, former dean of architecture at the university, and the firmMeyer, Scherer & Rockcastle (MSR) is participating in the design of art house.

Senior architecture undergraduates helped conceptualize the project last spring when they were told to redesign downtown College Park with a focus on the arts. Their work and ideas were displayed at the event.

“I like all of the designs,” said Matt Koenig, a sophomore biology major, about the displayed work of the architecture students. “To make something like that on Route 1 would bring more life to it.”

Featured Photo Credit: Josh Loock, Bloc Reporter.

Alex Carolan is a sophomore journalism major and can be reached at

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