Kimball Art Center starts relocation project
The Kimball Art Center’s move from Old Town to Bonanza Park is fast approaching, said Executive Director Robin Marrouche.
"This is a multi-tiered step over to the new space," Marrouche told The Park Record. "We are currently renovating the building so we can move in."
The move to the new space at 1401 Kearns Blvd., the former home of a religious organization known as The Branch — a Vineyard Community, is the result of the Park City’s rejection of the Kimball Art Center’s proposed renovation design.
"We are embarking on an overhaul of the interior of the new space," Marrouche said. "We are creating one large gallery and office spaces."
While the new space is comparable in square feet to the current Kimball Art Center location at 638 Park Ave., the education area will be larger.
"We are adding an additional studio classroom and there is a 2,500-square-foot storage shed outside the building that we are turning into a ceramics studio," Marrouche said. "We will be able to entertain offering classes we’ve never had before, like woodworking and classes like that. There is a lot of space, including a lot of outdoor space we will be able to work with and utilize.
"We love the new location," she said "It’s on the same street as the Park City High School and Treasure Mountain Junior High. It’s close to The Park Record and since it’s in the Bonanza Park area, it’s only a mile away from Main Street."
In addition, the Kearns Boulevard location has better disability accessibility and ample parking.
"That is something we haven’t had before," Marrouche said. "We have more than 50 parking spaces."
The Kimball Art Center will be situated in the Kearns Boulevard space for approximately three years while the not-for-profit organization decides on a permanent location, Marrouche said. The decision has not been finalized.
"That will take some time because the design of the permanent home will be site specific," she said.
To celebrate its move, the Kimball Art Center will unveil a public art installation called "Rainworks Activate Art Just Add Water" at both locations on Sunday at 1 p.m.
"We are having the Rainworks team out of Seattle come in to install the work," Marrouche said. "This is art that requires water in order to be seen and it’s basically invisible until it rains. We will throw water balloons so the Park Silly crowd will be able to see it."
The installations will be part of the Kimball Art Center’s fall school tours.
"They will be fun ways to integrate our new spot," Marrouche said.
The full renovation and move will be completed in October, and the Kimball Art Center will host a grand opening reception featuring modern art from the collection of Jordan Schnitzer from Portland, Oregon.
"He’s an art collector who started his art collection when he was 9, when he bought his first major work of art from an art gallery," Marrouche said. "This ties in perfectly with our education programs that reaches out to students through the various mediums."
The Kimball Art Center will borrow the collection, which is called "Picturing the Iconic" and features works by modern artists such as Andy Warhol.
"We asked Jordan to partner with this exhibit, because he is someone who we really look up to and respect," Marrouche said. "He is lending us a host of modern and contemporary artists.
"We are proud of the fact that we will be able to open that show in the new space for free," she said. "These works are rarely seen in a gallery that has free admission, so with this exhibit, we want to make a statement that this is more of what the public can expect from the Kimball Art Center in the future."
Until then, the Kimball Art Center staff will continue to run programs and art classes in the Park Avenue location.
Marrouche said the Kimball Art Center was lucky to have been at the Park Avenue location since 1976.
"We want to honor and respect the past, because it is part of our heritage, but we need to allow for the growth and innovation to occur," she said. "So, we’re looking forward to the possibilities the new space will afford us."