RALEIGH, NC.- The North Carolina Museum of Art
announced today that it is in the final phases of its expansion initiative and on schedule to open a new 127,000 square foot home for the permanent collection in April 2010.
The exterior louvers and 362 skylights of the roof were completed in February. The first phase of landscaping and construction on the new arrival plaza has begun. Dramatic aluminum panels designed to reflect the natural light and landscape will begin to be installed over the exterior concrete walls in late April. In the fall, work begins on reflecting pools and art-filled gardens that will surround the new building.
The project also includes renovations to the lobby of the existing building, which will become a center for temporary exhibitions, collections management, education, and administration.
This is an important year for the Museum as we prepare for one of the most significant milestones in our states cultural history. The Museum staff is hard at work preparing the collection and building to welcome visitors from across the state and the world to the premier art museum in the south, said Museum Director Lawrence J. Wheeler.
On Monday, September 7, Museum staff will start moving nearly 800 works of art into the new galleries, at which point the existing building will temporarily close until April 2010. This fall renovations to the lobby area of the current Museum building will also begin in earnest. For the safety of visitors and protection of the collection, the building cannot remain open during these two critical operations.
The 164-acre Museum Park will remain open and Arts in the Museum Park, the annual summer series of movies and concerts in the amphitheater, will be expanded, running May through early October.
As we prepare for the opening of the new gallery building, we are committed to continuing to share art experiences, said Wheeler. We have an incredible opportunity to bring the Museums programs to the community and connect with the people of our state in new ways.
During the transition phase, the Museum will host programs throughout the community as part of a new initiative Museum on the Move. Lectures, films, and other events are planned to take place throughout the Triangle and around the state. A new Museum web site set to launch in August will offer a wealth of behind-the-scenes expansion updates andfor the first timea complete on-line database of the Museums holdings.