Daddy's Christmas Angel

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Ward Center for Contemporary Art - Look of a Museum

Ward Center for Contemporary Art Gallery with historic staircase ©Mary Montague Sikes
In May 2013, when I first learned that Petersburg Regional Art Center was closing and that the old Butterworth building at 132 North Sycamore Street was set to undergo a $6 million renovation, I didn't know what to think. Although the Art Center was rustic and needed many updates, I hated to see it disappear. After all, I had spent 10 years as a resident artist there, and I feared the promised new art facility might never become a reality.

Abstract Artists Three-Person Show ©Mary Montague Sikes
I was wrong. Last summer,- I was invited to have a one-person exhibition in the brand new central gallery space, and this week we hung the show. The new Ward Center for Contemporary Art is beautiful. It features state of the art lighting, an excellent hanging system for paintings, lovely bathrooms, refinished wooden floors, and more. The historic staircase is still there in the big gallery and is a conversation piece because it now leads to nowhere.

The photos in this post are from the gallery during the process of hanging. I am looking forward to seeing it after everything is arranged and the lights are adjusted for each painting. A visitor during the hanging said the space "looks like a museum". I smiled and agreed with him.

Jessie Boyland, the gallery director, is overseeing the progress of the new gallery that will be the site of numerous future wedding receptions, meetings, and other social events. In addition, there are artist studio spaces located behind the gallery and in the basement that are available for rent.

The grand opening will take place in February. In the meantime, the gallery will be open to the public on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 12 to 4 p.m. Following the opening reception, the days and hours will be expanded. My exhibition, "Passenger to Paradise" will be on display until March 7.

New Ladies Room ©MMSikes
Gallery Director Jessie Boyland helps with hanging ©MMSikes

6 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wow, the place is huge! And looks like there is room for a couple hundred people to mingle and sit. Impressive. Cool you were invited to do the show solo!

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Yes, Alex. The space is beautiful and accommodates a big crowd. Thanks!

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

What a great place. The gallery where I'm doing my book signing this weekend is much nicer than where they began, but nothing like this one. Wow! So great that you are having a show there!

Mary Montague Sikes said...

The gallery is beautiful. I'm really pleased, Marilyn!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Monty - gosh you've got lots of coverage by the Gallery - obviously well deserved ... having worked there as artist in residence for so long.

So pleased for you - and they've catered to earn money from using the venue - which makes sense.

February isn't far away is it - so pleased for the town, artists and no doubt other creative types ...

Cheers Hilary

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Thanks for the visit, Hilary