Next month, the Flint Institute of Arts will begin construction on the Contemporary Craft Wing and artist’s makerspace as part of a significant museum expansion and renovation of its Art School. The completion is scheduled for autumn of 2017.
Earlier today, the FIA hosted a ceremony to launch the construction of the expansion. The Contemporary Craft Wing was designed by architect Frederick Fisher and Partners. It will add more than 8,000 square feet of space to the east side of the FIA building, as well as three distinct expansive galleries specifically designed for presentations of three dimensional works of art with high ceilings and skylights.
Additionally, two recent major gifts that were given to the museum will also be accommodated in the expansion: the Dr. Robert and Deanna Harris Burger Collection of Contemporary Ceramics and the Isabel Foundation’s Sherwin and Shirley Glass Collection of Contemporary Glass.
The expansion will provide working and demonstration space for glass and ceramic artists, and an interior courtyard within the Art School will be converted into a year-round, multi-purpose makerspace, providing many options for public demonstrations, workshops, and classes. With the Art School renovations, 3,960 square feet will be outfitted with glass furnaces, a cold shop, a metal foundry, audio visual equipment, and stadium-style seating – allowing this craft to be more accessible to anyone who is interested.
Of a $17.5 million endowment campaign, the FIA has raised $12.8 million of that total. The funds raised include an $8.5 million grant from the C.S. Mott Foundation.
“This project is a game-changer for us in terms of providing exhibition and demonstration space that integrates a finished work of art with the process of how it is made,” said John Henry, Executive Director of the FIA. “The C.S. Mott Foundation’s continuing investment into the growth of the FIA and other Flint Cultural Center organizations demonstrates their commitment to arts and culture as a critical force for positive change in our community.”
Photography by Eric Dutro