TAOS, NM.- The Harwood Museum of Art
announces its official groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 10:00 am at 238 Ledoux Street in Taos. After several years of fundraising and planning, the Harwood Museum is delighted to celebrate the beginning of construction on a 10,000 square foot expansion. This day will also be the introduction of the newly appointed museum Director, Susan Longhenry, to the community.
This expansion will provide additional gallery space, a 135 seat auditorium, double the existing art collection storage space, as well as add archival and work study research rooms, a loading dock and an art receiving area. The entire project is expected to cost $6.3 million and involves extensive excavation in order to fit this multi-level expansion into the compact historic site available for this construction.
The expansion includes over 1,000 square feet of state-of-the- art storage for the Harwoods ever growing collection of over 3,500 works of art. This is critically needed space for good stewardship and is consistent with American Association of Museums standards. The work study space will provide students and scholars with greater access to the museum archives. A covered receiving area is necessary to protect art in transit as it is loaned to or from the Harwood. The auditorium, in keeping with the use and intent of Lucy and Burt Harwood, will provide the community with more educational and performance opportunities within the arts. It is a 95 seat raked auditorium with 40 movable seats that will accommodate the Taos Chamber Music Group concerts, Harwood and UNM lectures, as well as other community educational events and social functions. The auditorium will be equipped with the infrastructure to eventually allow reception of incoming media broadcasting from UNM Main Campus in Albuquerque and other venues. The gallery exhibition space will be equipped with audio visual technology and be named for Taos Modern artists, Beatrice Mandelman and Louis Ribak. All of these advancements bring the Museum into the 21st century, allowing the Harwood to better serve the community and the arts.
With 85% of the funds raised, July 1, 2009 also marks the beginning of the public phase of the capital fundraising campaign. With legislative support of approximately 3 million dollars and private and UNM support totaling 2.4 million, the Harwoods current fundraising goal to complete the project is $950,000. We anticipate that the majority of this goal will be met through the generosity of private donors and small foundations.