Editorial: Kimball Art Center adds a splash of color wherever it is located
September 11, 2015
Park City’s most prominent visual-arts organization, the Kimball Art Center, will shortly pack up its paintbrushes, its kiln and its canvases.
The not-for-profit Park City institution that has taught an untold number of youngsters to explore their creative side, organizes a well-respected summertime arts festival, and has added a splash of color to Main Street, plans in October to leave the historic building where it has been located since the nation celebrated its bicentennial.
The Kimball Art Center will open shortly afterward in temporary quarters in a building on Kearns Boulevard. The organization expects it will remain there for perhaps three years the time it will need to find and secure a permanent location and then plan and develop a facility that will be custom built as an art center.
The events that led to the upcoming move unfolded as one of the great development fiascoes in a place where there have been plenty of them. The Kimball Art Center wanted to expand its location along Main Street, securing the services of a highly regarded European architect to design a project on the patio space at the intersection of Main Street and Heber Avenue.
The community bristled when they saw one design. It did not advance. The Kimball Art Center proceeded with another design, but City Hall found it did not fit well at the location and rejected the proposal. That led to the Kimball Art Center selling the property to a developer. The proceeds of the sale will be used to fund a permanent location.
The drama was heavy in 2014 and into 2015, but the Kimball Art Center leadership has made its decision about leaving the historic location. Park City art lovers, parents of aspiring artists and others who enjoy the Kimball Art Center’s offerings should now embrace a future for the organization, starting with the upcoming opening of the temporary quarters on Kearns Boulevard.
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A building is certainly critically important to a visual-arts organization like the Kimball Art Center. But what is inside is even more important. That is why we anticipate the temporary location will successfully serve its purpose. There appears to be ample space for exhibits and classes, the two most important functions of a Kimball Art Center building, wherever it is located. There are also, as the not-for-profit points out, plenty of parking spaces, something that the Old Town location lacks.
When the paintbrushes, the kiln and the canvases are unpacked, Park City will again have a splash of color, even though it will be in a different spot.