GALESBURG – Visitors can expect to see new floors and fresh paint at the Galesburg Community Art Center next week as the space reopens to the public on Friday, May 20.
Tuesday Cetin, executive director of the art center, said the opening reception will begin at 5 p.m. for members and 6 p.m. for the general public. The free event will feature the “Bridges” art exhibit by Dusty Scott and Stacy Lotz and will include a cash bar.
The latest round of renovations inside the center include new flooring under the first-floor gift shop and gallery, two finished artists’ studios on the second floor, and a finished second-floor gallery that will be overflowing with works of art in a freshly painted classroom space on the first floor.
Cetin said people can expect a “temporary makeshift experience” this year as the center continues to fill what amounts to a 3,000-4,000 square foot upgrade to its former location at 27,000. square feet in his new home, the Odd Fellows Building, 349 E. Main St.
Cetin said when the organization first accepted the building from Mark and Jeannette Kleine, the goal was to minimize closures as much as possible. In a “catch-22” situation, the manager said the organization is using its space as efficiently as possible both to maintain services and improvements.
“I think in order to continue this simultaneous programming and renovation, the public has to understand that we are certainly not 100%, that it is not finished, not done, we are only just beginning, we have scratched the surface. “, says Cetin. “But we want to continue to serve our community.”
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The center will continue its regular programming in the new space as it did offsite after the center was last closed on February 5. Cetin said the center will likely close again next February for another round of renovations.
The art center will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2023
Cetin said the center should be fully operational by the end of 2023, its centenary year. In this case, the first floor of the building will have a gift shop, a finished gallery, a cafe, and a large classroom space that will be walled off into separate areas, one of which includes an oven.
The second floor will house the children’s art camp, two artists’ studios that can be rented for short-term residencies, another gallery and the center’s offices.
The third floor will continue to house the Galesburg Historical Society, three galleries for the center’s permanent collection, a ballroom that can accommodate events, and another office that can be rented.
The center’s old location, 114 E. Main St., had only gallery space and a gift shop. When the center held art classes, the gift shop space was transformed into classroom space.
The new space will allow the center to offer new programming such as cooking and ceramics classes, as well as more studio classes, artist meetups, open studios, live arts programs and special events.
New location:The arts center opens Friday in the old Antique Mall building on Main Street in Galesburg
“It was a lot to put it up, tear it down, move it, move it, do this, do that,” Cetin said of the old location. “Here we’re able to take lessons in the studio, get dirty, and feel inspired because we’re not afraid to ruin someone else’s work.”
So far, the center has not offered any official construction, but has relied on the help of local artisans and volunteers to prepare the space.
Interior renovations will cost between $1.5 and $2 million
Cetin estimated that the total renovations to the center’s interior will cost between $1.5 million and $2 million and that there is additional work to be done to touch up the facade of the building. The construction of the main center gallery on the first floor, which is about 50% complete, is temporarily blocked due to the high price of plywood.
The organization and its staff of “1.5” employees received $2 million from the state of Illinois, but Cetin said the GCAC has not yet received the grant money and that he did not know when he would receive it.
Cetin said it would take even more time, money and partnerships for the nonprofit to fully build the space into its master plan.
“We’re not building the plane while we’re flying it, but a little, to figure out what works, what doesn’t in space and how can we do things better more efficiently,” Cetin said. “And of course still our community as we always have.”