Pensacola, Florida
Wednesday October 22nd 2014

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A Museum Makeover

By Sarah McCartan

In 2013, the Pensacola Museum of Art brought a multitude of noteworthy exhibits into the public eye. These included the local photo exhibit “24 Hours in Downtown Pensacola” and Mikaela Sheldt’s “Paint and Process,” which was accompanied by an interactive artist talk and poetry performance.

The museum also launched a new affiliate group, the PMA Contemporaries, and welcomed yoga into the gallery space. 2013 proved the museum is only gaining momentum, and the new year already promises more of the same, starting with museum improvements.

Thanks to a grant awarded to the museum by IMPACT 100, the entire museum will be closed Jan. 6 – 10 while it gets a new look to accompany the new year. Beginning Jan. 2, the downstairs gallery will be closed for phase one of renovations. The upstairs museum space currently hosting “The Design of War” will remain open with the exhibit on display until Jan. 4.

These January renovations will include new hardwood floors that will repair more than a century’s worth of wear and tear to the space and make the space more level, increasing both safety and accessibility when walking from room to room. On top of being functional, this change will add to the museum’s look and appeal.

“It will significantly improve the aesthetics in the museum — elevating the visitor experience substantially,” said Stacy Kendall, PMA Director of Marketing.

The refreshed flooring comes well in time for the museum to celebrate its birthday on March 28.

“2014 is the PMA’s 60th anniversary so we are excited to be making those changes for a bright future,” said Kendall.

The first floor of the museum is set for completion before the reopening of the museum on Jan. 11. The renovations on the second floor will begin in April. In addition to revamped flooring, the grant is providing an air system upgrade, which will add to the pleasantness of the museum experience and help preserve the artwork.

According to Kendall, this particular upgrade will allow the museum to bring in “large, blockbuster exhibitions that require state-of-the-art air control.”

Just on the other side of January’s phase one renovations, are two new exhibits on display from Jan. 11 through Feb 15. The first is “Looking Back, Moving Forward: The PMA Permanent Collection Retrospective.” This collection is a representation of decades of gifts, donations and purchases that are said to have expanded the community’s access to prominent works of art. In celebration of the PMA’s 60th Anniversary, this exhibit serves as a visual storyline of the Permanent Collection’s history.

The second exhibit,“60th Annual Youth Art Focus and Educators’ Show,” highlights the best work from more than 500 art students and educators in Escambia County schools, celebrating their strong artistic achievements and our area teachers’ dedication to art education.

Pensacola Museum of Art
407 S. Jefferson St.
pensacolamuseum.org or 432-6247