Harris Fine Arts Center

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Harris Fine Arts Center


The Franklin S. Harris Fine Arts Center (HFAC) is the main location for study, performance and exhibition of the arts at Brigham Young University and houses three of the departments in the College of Fine Arts and Communications. The HFAC consists of dedicated performance spaces, as well as study rooms, small painting studios, theatre work rooms, art and animation labs, class rooms, a costume studio, faculty offices, and department offices, including: the School of Music, the Department of Theatre and Media Arts, the Department of Art, the Department of Design, the college Advisement Center and the Dean’s Office. The college's other departments include the School of Communications, located in the Brimhall Building and the Department of Dance, located in the Richards Building.

During the fall of 2014 and winter of 2015, the Harris Fine Arts Center will be celebrating its 50th year.

To see current and upcoming HFAC events, click here.

HFAC under construction


The HFAC was named after former Brigham Young University President, Franklin S. Harris. Harris' years of support for the arts led to the construction of the Harris Fine Arts Center. The HFAC was designed by architect William Pereira and dedicated in 1965. The building is located immediately to the south of the BYU Museum of Art, and just north of the Wilkinson Student Center. Since the dedication of the HFAC, the building has gone through many remodels to adapt to the changing needs of the College of Fine Arts and Communications.

Within the HFAC there are several rooms and spaces named in honor of specific persons. This distinction is one of the highest offered to alumni, faculty, and friends of the college. It creates a lasting monument to those who have helped the college to grow and succeed, building the reputation it now has today. These dedicated spaces are listed below.

Gerrit de Jong Jr. Concert Hall

Gerrit de Jong Jr. Concert Hall

The concert hall was designed by Harvey Fletcher, and is the largest facility in the HFAC. It is named for Gerrit de Jong, Jr. who was the first Dean of what was then the College of Fine Arts at BYU. The hall has a seating capacity of 1,268. It is used for concerts, both by choral groups and orchestral groups as well as many musicals, operas and dance performances. It is also used during the spring and summer terms for the weekly university devotionals. While most concerts at the de Jong are by BYU groups, prestigious outside groups and individuals also perform there.

Elbert H. Eastmond Art Seminar Room

This room is located in A410 and is dedicated to Elbert Hindley Eastmond, a former head of the Art Department. The space is just over 700 square feet and was designed for short showings of a broad variety of art works, including many student art shows. It is still used by the Art and Design Departments for classes and meetings.

Gallery 303

Gallery 303

Gallery 303 is a newly refurbished space, located just off the south entrance of the HFAC on the main (third) floor. It is used for small gallery showings, including faculty shows, and BFA and MFA student exhibits.

B. Cecil Gates Opera Workshop

The B. Cecil Gates Opera Workshop is located in A254. This room was originally used for rehearsals of student-produced operas, but it now houses stage props. It is named for B. Cecil Gates, a talented musician and BYU alumnus.

Henry E. Giles Museum of Musical Instruments

This museum is located in E400. It was named in honor of Henry Evans Giles and served dual functions, housing a collection of antique instruments, such as harpsichords and clavichords, and serving as a rehearsal and performance area for chamber music. It is now used mainly for School of Music classes.

Harold I. Hansen Rehearsal Hall

The Harold I. Hansen Rehearsal Hall, located in B201 and B203, was named in honor of BYU Faculty member and former Theatre Department Chairman, Harold I. Hansen. The room is used for theatre rehearsal, stage combat, and choreography.

Franklin and Florence Jepperson Madsen Recital Hall

The Madsen Recital Hall accommodates 402 people and was named in honor of Franklin and Florence Jepperson Madsen. The entrances to the Madsen are located on the 4th and 5th floors. The hall is used for classes when school is in session and it is also used for solo and chamber performances by students, faculty and visiting artists.

Gallery view from the 5th floor

Bent F. Larsen Art Gallery

This gallery if named in honor of Bent Franklin Larsen, a distinguished artist, teacher and leader in the community. The gallery is placed in the heart or central axis of the Harris Fine Arts Center and penetrates through three floors, with small balconies and small exhibit areas on the upper two levels overlooking the central main gallery. Besides being used for various student and faculty art displays, it serves as the lobby for the Pardoe, the Madsen Recital Hall and the Gerrit de Jong Jr. Concert Hall.

Philip N. Margetts Arena Theatre

This theatre is designed so that seating and acting can occur in any part of the room. The Margetts is located in C188 and shares a wall with the Nelke stage. Due to its compact design and adaptable seating, the Margetts lends itself to a close actor and audience relationship. It is named in honor of Philip Nephi Margetts an early LDS pioneer and actor.

Walther and Ebba Mathesius Music Seminar Room

This room, named in honor of Walther and Ebba Mathesius, is located in E432. It is designed for graduate classes, seminars, informal demonstration performances, and faculty conferences.
Debate Hall

Harrison R. Merrill Debate Theatre

The Merrill Debate Theatre, located in F201, was named after Harrison Reuben Merrill, a former member of the English Department, journalist and public servant. The theatre is used as a media classroom, lecture hall and small performance space.

Albert Miller Orchestra Room

This room, located in room E250, was, and continues to be, used for chamber, band, and group instrumental rehearsals of every kind. It is now the primary rehearsal hall for the university orchestras. It is soundproofed to adjacent areas. It is named for Albert Miller, who organized the first band and orchestra at Brigham Young Academy.

Miriam Nelke Experimental Theatre

This theatre is used for theatre department classes, Mask Club performances and rehersals. The Nelke is named in honor of Miriam Nelke, a former BYU professor. The theater is ideal for experimental theater and choreography, due to it's steeply sloped stadium seating, which seats 223 people. The main entrances are located on the third floor.

Pardoe Theatre

T. Earl and Kathryn Pardoe Drama Theatre

This theatre seats 463 people and is designed in a traditional presidium stage setup. It is the largest theatrical stage in the HFAC. It is used for the colleges’ performances throughout the semester. It is named for T. Earl and Kathryn Pardoe, former faculty in the Theatre Department.

Robert Sauer Band Room

This room is located in E251 and is named for the BYU professor Robert Sauer, who was one of the university's first band directors. The room is used for rehearsals for the band and other ensembles and classes. It is located on the second floor, close to the Albert Miller Orchestra Room.

Mormon Arts Ball

Mormon arts ball.JPG
The Mormon Arts Ball was held in March 1974 at BYU. The Harris Fine Arts Center was beautifully decorated for the event, with colored satin flags of the arts hanging from the ceiling and gold satin draping from the balconies.

A symphony orchestra provided the music for the event. Before the dancing, a program featured concert violinists, pianists, and vocalists as well as the Philharmonic Orchestra and A Cappella Choir. Throughout the evening Mormon artists performed one-act plays, concert recitals, readers theaters, and multi-media presentations in the various halls and theaters throughout the building. One such presentation was the reading of several poems by Carma de Jong Anderson.

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