PEORIA, Ariz. (April
20, 2010) – The City Council today approved an agreement with the West Valley
Art Museum to provide safe, secure storage for the museum’s 1,651-object art
collection for two years.
The museum has been
seeking a new home for its $1.5 million collection of Arizona art, ethnic dress
and fine prints since the financially driven sale of its building in December
2009. Its board approved the agreement April 8, and it faces an April 30
deadline to move out of its former home in Surprise.
Under the agreement,
the museum will pay for the move. Volunteers have been inventorying and packing
the collection in preparation. The city expects to spend about $4,700 on
electrical circuitry, additional security measures and insurance.
By providing the
storage space, the city is giving the museum board time to regroup and consider
its options, including a permanent move to Peoria.
Susan J. Daluddung, the
deputy city manager for development and community services, says the agreement
is a win-win proposition for the city and museum.
“We are committed to
the idea of including gallery space in our public buildings,” Daluddung said.
“When we realized the West Valley Art Museum had a collection that needed a
home, it seemed like a natural fit.”
The opportunity to
partner with the museum also is in line with recommendations in the Arts and
Culture Master Plan approved by the City Council in 2009. In addition, city
officials believe that having the museum’s collection in Peoria, particularly
the Arizona art portion, would enhance local activities honoring the centennial
of Arizona statehood in 2012.
“The museum has been
around for 30 years and is an important cultural asset to the West Valley.
Despite the loss of the building, concerned people were working hard to keep the
collection together,” Daluddung said. “Our immediate goal has been to ensure
safe, secure storage for the collection in one location. Once we’ve accomplished
that, we’ll have time to work with museum officials on options for the future.”
William Benz, chairman
of the museum board, said he appreciated city officials’ commitment to finding a
stopgap storage solution for the museum.
“We look forward to
building a strong relationship with the city as we move forward with the
resurgence of the museum,” Benz said.
In the coming months,
the museum board is expected to consider amending its Articles of Incorporation
so that it could loan items in its collection to the city for display in public
facilities. The existing articles permit the loan, lease, sale or donation of
items only to other tax-exempt, non-profit entities.