Expansion for Art Museum in the works
Senior running back Conor Tidgwell stiff arms a Hamilton player in Saturday's 35-7 win over the Continentals.
The Colby College Museum of Art plans to expand significantly after the 2010-2011 academic year, adding considerable gallery space, more art storage, an education center, more outdoor art spaces, bathrooms, and re-vamped offices and studios.
The Museum has received substantial funding from private donors, the Museum board of governors, and benefactors to the college who have valued the Museum.
Although the Museum’s exhibition space is already the largest in Maine, the expansion will add 10,000 square feet of new gallery space. The renovated Museum will total approximately 34,000 square feet.
These large, modern spaces will significantly increase the Museum’s ability to showcase its impressive and ever-growing collection, notably the Lunder Collection, one of the nation’s most valuable collections of American art is appraised at $100 million and given to the Museum by Peter and Paula Lunder.
Architecturally, the new addition will be a single, three-story glass pavilion. Sharon Corwin, Director of the Museum, said that the glass is not mirror-like, but is reflective, and will therefore resound the brick identity of Colby’s campus, as well as the surrounding nature and the changing scenery of the Maine seasons. The building will expand the type of architecture that exists on this campus, positing a new identity and new horizons for the future of the arts at Colby. Architects say the glass structure will also exhibit the idea that art affords the opportunity for reflection.
This structure will be highly visible and more accessible from Mayflower Hill Drive, indicating that theMuseum belongs not only to the Colby College community, but also to the greater community of Waterville and of Maine. There will also be an expanded sculpture terrace, and a space for murals and other outdoor art installations.
The education center is conceived as a room to orient and introduce K-12 and other visitors to the Museum. Here, docents and Museum staff can lead art projects and activities with students, and otherwise cater to the needs of visiting groups. This will also be a multi-purpose room, used as expanded lobby space during museum events.
In order to complete these renovations, the Museum will need to close for a number of months, though details are not yet determined. The Museum, despite construction, will continue to be extremely active in the community. Colby students and faculty will have access to the collection and will be able to examine objects in study rooms.
Courses will still use the collection. Museum staff and docents will travel to K-12 classrooms with reproductions of objects to give lessons. The Museum may create high-quality virtual exhibitions, so that students and others can view art online in a manner similar to how they would in the Museum. Events like the Senior Art Show and the Faculty shows will still occur in another location yet to be determined.
The Museum’s collection, comprised of over 6, 000 objects, is one of the most esteemed collections of contemporary and American art in the country. The Museum is a unique and invaluable resource at Colby. Currently, the Museum can exhibit only a marginal fraction of their collection at one time.
These renovations will allow the Museum to better exhibit its impressive collection, and better educate Colby students and members of the Waterville community.
Museum staff wish, as always, to reiterate that the Colby College Museum of Art belongs to Colby students, and to members of the community. It is with pleasure that they announce the upcoming renovations.