About GCAD
The GCAD Mission

A place to create anything.

Your imagination is limitless and your big idea can work. Now imagine making it – and making it real – at the Gruss Center for Art and Design. Creativity and exploration take many forms, but no matter what medium you choose, GCAD has the resources and the workspace to support your ideas. 

Student Using Drill Press

Everyone is creative, even if some learners only discover their creativity by stepping outside their comfort zone. GCAD provides a supportive environment where it’s safe to fail along the road to creation. Here, students have the opportunity to take creative risks that won’t always work at first, but become learning experiences during the creative process. Whether you enjoy robotics, have the heart of an artist, or simply want to try something new, GCAD gives you the freedom and support to grow as you will. 

Now, imagine working together with other students using complex solutions to overcome real-life challenges. A hub for innovation, collaboration, and creativity, GCAD is the place where students and teachers from all disciplines come together to solve problems, using technology to achieve creative ideas. The technology available to you in GCAD has so many applications that there really is something for everyone. 

Whether your concept requires a 3D printer, a laser cutter, or a simple paintbrush and palette, GCAD is the place to create and achieve whatever ideas your imagination can craft.

History

GCAD Through the Ages

GCAD Construction

Building construction continued throughout 2019 and Lawrenceville opened GCAD in January 2020. 

  • 2019
Shovels in the Ground

GCAD construction began in October 2018 at a groundbreaking ceremony with Head Master Steve Murray H’54 ’55 ’65 ’16 P’16 ’21, Audrey and Martin Gruss ’60, Glenn Hutchins ’73, and Board of Trustees President Michael Chae ’86.

  • 2018
A Gift from the Audrey and Martin Gruss Foundation

The Audrey and Martin Gruss Foundation makes a gift of $17 million to fund an expansion of the Gruss Center of Visual Arts to accommodate a creative design center and maker space. The expanded facility will be renamed the Gruss Center for Art and Design.

...TO AN EPILOG LASER CUTTER IN 2017...
  • 2017
...TO iPADS in 2012...
  • 2012
Student Art Show

The Center’s Hutchins Galleries, a gift of the Hutchins Family Foundation in honor of Marguerite and James Hutchins, has held shows featuring works by everyone Rembrandt to Andy Warhol to Lawrenceville students.

  • 2011
Gruss Center for Visual Arts Opens

Lawrenceville student artists then had beautiful classrooms and studios here for painting, drawing, design, ceramics, printmaking, and woodworking, plus an art gallery with a permanent collection and rotating exhibits.  

  • 1998
...TO MICROFILM IN 1981...
  • 1981
Carpenter Wing

This new addition, named for Ned Carpenter ’39, became home to an expanded research area, a dedicated seminar space, a faculty conference room, and library offices.

  • 1960
…TO LPs IN 1954...
  • 1954
FROM BOOKS AND TYPEWRITERS IN 1943...
  • 1943
John Dixon Library Opens

Lawrenceville’s new library opened in 1931. It was named for the Rev. John Dixon, president of the School’s Board of Trustees from 1924-30.

  • 1931
It Began with a Sketch

What we now know as the Gruss Center for Art and Design began as a sketch for the John Dixon Library in 1930. The building was designed by Delano and Aldrich.

  • 1930
THE BUILDING

Create and connect in a place built for pushing boundaries. 

Thanks to a $17 million gift from the Audrey and Martin Gruss Foundation, the Gruss Center of Visual Arts was transformed to accommodate a creative design center and makerspace. GCAD pulls together collaborative energy from all departments, extending the Harkness table by providing space for experiential and project-based learning.

A hub for innovation, collaboration, and creativity, the open environment of GCAD was deliberately designed to inspire ingenuity and support spontaneity. It’s a place where art and engineering meet and ideas find new expression in exciting ways. GCAD welcomes your vision and dares you to design something different. 

Be it a 3D printer, a laser cutter, or a simple paintbrush and palette, GCAD has the tools and technology to power your ideas, support your craft, and bring to life whatever you can imagine. 

GCAD Architectural Rendering - Main Level

Main Level

On GCAD’s main level, students and faculty have access to 3,200 square feet of space equipped with state-of-the-art technology and tools, including 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC mills for metal and wood, CNC router for metal and plastics, precision CNC water-jet cutter, vinyl cutter, color printers, welding bays, and a full array of hand and power tools. 

Woodworking Shop and Studio
Metal Shop
Digital Fabrication Lab/Print Room
Art Foundations Studio
Advanced Drawing and Painting Studio
Ceramics Studio
Multi-purpose Workshop
Hutchins Gallery

 

GCAD Architectural Rendering - Upper Level

Upper Level

GCAD’s 2,200-square-foot ideation space on the second floor can be divided into four separate rooms as needed, each with TV monitor. A digital classroom, equipped with 14 new MacBook Pros, supports our campus photographers and graphic designers. 

Flex Rooms/Ideation Spaces
Digital Classroom
Drawing and Painting Studios
Lecture Room
Conference Room
Gallery

GCAD Architectural Rendering - Lower Level

Lower Level

With six work stations, dedicated 3D printers, and a virtual reality system, GCAD’s lower level is home to serious play and competitive aspirations.

Robotics and Rocketry Room
Clean Lab/Robotics and Rocketry
Robotics Playing Field
Club Rooms

STEAM at Lawrenceville

An open invitation to connect, create, and make something together.

Student Cutting Cardboard

The maker movement has always been characterized by collaboration and community, by bringing together diverse interests, and by merging tools and technology with the creative impulse. This innovative way of thinking and creating became the driving force for the integrated teaching of STEM – science, technology, engineering, and math. STEM became STEAM as educators recognized the essential role of art and design in the makerspace and the value of technology in creative endeavors.  
 
GCAD is Lawrenceville’s makerspace for our community of artists, engineers, and everyone in-between, where STEAM extends an open invitation to connect, create, and make something together.  

People

Meet the GCAD Team.

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“While GCAD's tall glass windows pull our gaze inwards, the work inside will enable students to better view and engage the community and world outside of the building through experiential learning.” Michael Hanewald

History Teacher and Associate Director of the Harkness Travel Programs
History Department and International Programs

“GCAD's modern tools make designing and creating accessible to all students.” Shinae Park

Science Teacher
Science Department

“With GCAD accessible to all Lawrentians, there as so many opportunities to craft, create, tinker, design, and make. If you can think it, you can make it; you only need to try.” Matt Campbell

Performing Arts Teacher
Performing Arts Department

“At GCAD, we are thinking beyond making things. We are making things that matter. GCAD gives students the power to render their insights and visions visible, inviting dialogue and inspiring activism in our community and beyond.” Dana Kooistra

Director of Teaching, Learning, and External Partnerships
History and Interdisciplinary Departments

“ We're looking for the students who built imaginary worlds out of cardboard boxes, for the students who created backstories for their dolls and action figures, for the students who built forts in the woods, for the students who put a bucket on their head and imagined they were flying to Mars. For the students who never lost their creative spirit, and for those looking to find theirs — GCAD is the place to be.” Keith Roeckle

Chair of the Performing Arts Department & Director of Instrumental Studies
Performing Arts Department

“The possibilities for creating and making in GCAD are virtually endless.” Rex Brodie

Director of Design & Fabrication
Visual Arts Department