A long-awaited and highly-anticipated expansion at the Flint Institute of Arts (FIA) has officially opened to the public. Breaking ground in 2016, the FIA added more than 20,000-square-feet of gallery and educational space. The Opening Weekend of April 21-22 offered free entrance for guests to explore and enjoy all the FIA has to offer. The community partook in the new Contemporary Craft Wing, the Art School Hot Shop, and could attend live artist demonstrations, lectures and new exhibit openings.
The expansion houses a new ceramics collection with about 400 works by some of the world’s best-known contemporary artists, a stunning contemporary glass exhibit featuring around 150 works by 98 artists and representing every technique in contemporary glassmaking. The new wing also features a changing exhibit for emerging artists working in craft such as silver, wood or fiber.
John Henry, Executive Director, anticipates that the glass exhibit will become highly-viewed. He explains, “it is probably the best collection of contemporary glass in private hands. In many cases, it is the best, or biggest work the artist has ever made.”
The new Art School Hot Shop is another huge draw at FIA. The state-of-the-art, 3,620-square-foot, glassblowing studio offered demonstrations during the grand opening weekend and will continue every weekend. Spring classes began in April and run through May; the summer session begins in June and includes classes from beginners to more advanced glass workers.
Major funding for the construction of the Contemporary Craft Wing and Art School Hot Shop was provided by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. During the Community Weekend, free admission was sponsored by Huntington Bank and the free Hot Shop Demonstrations were sponsored by McLaren Health Care.
Visit flintarts.org/ for more information on news and events.
Photography by Jennifer Hodney