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Portland Museum of Art hires Scott Simons Architects to create campus master plan
Payson Facade close-up: Charles Shipman Payson Building, Portland Museum of Art, Maine. Photo: Craig Becker.

PORTLAND, ME.- The Portland Museum of Art announced today that it has hired the Portland architectural firm of Scott Simons Architects to design a campus master plan positioning the museum for future growth and development. Scott Simons Architects will conduct an exploration of the PMA facility’s needs, determine the potential uses of its property, and create a vision for the museum’s campus that is consistent with the PMA’s mission and that will benefit Maine’s growing cultural scene. During the next six months, this process will take into account the PMA’s physical structures and artistic vision, and will include a dialogue with city leadership, museum neighbors, and Portland’s arts community. A board-designated Campus Master Plan Committee was formed in January 2014, under the leadership of PMA Trustees John Wallace and John Isacke, to focus on a campus master plan, one of the last tasks outlined in the PMA’s Strategic Plan 2010-15.

“As we come to the completion of our strategic plan, it’s the right time for us to explore all areas for growth for the museum from the physical structures to the collection,” said PMA Director Mark H.C. Bessire. “This is an amazing opportunity for us to look to the museum’s future and be a leading voice with issues concerning Portland’s development in our neighborhood. Through this process we will ask our community, what will the PMA campus look like in 10, 20, or more years from now? By the end of this year, we hope to be able to answer that question. We are excited to partner with Scott Simons and his associates as we embark on this project.”

“Art is changing and we need to plan for new spaces that will support new types of art,” said Scott Simons. “More importantly, the way people are using the museum is changing. The PMA is much more than just a place to view art. It is becoming a place for us all to engage with our community in a deeper way. The Master Plan is an opportunity to look into the future and to plan for this change, to make the museum a place that supports not only the artistic and cultural life of our community, but connects us with each other and the life of our great city.”

Scott Simons is the founder and principal of Scott Simons Architects, a Portland-based architecture and planning group that is well known for its award-winning design and planning work throughout the northeast. Recent local projects include the Portland Public Library, the Waynflete Arts Center, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens Education Center, and the Casco Bay Ferry Terminal Addition and Renovation, now under construction.

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