PEORIA, Ariz. (Jan.
6, 2011) – Peoria is giving people another great reason to visit the
municipal campus with the opening of an art museum in City Hall.
The city will celebrate
the museum’s grand opening at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 22.
The Peoria Art Museum’s
inaugural exhibit will be the Smithsonian Institution’s “Lasting Light: 125
Years of Grand Canyon Photography.” It comprises 60 works by well-known
photographers, including Jack Dykinga, Michael Collier, Mike Buchheit, James
Cowlin and Sue Bennett. The exhibit features images of early photographers
dangling from cables with their cumbersome equipment balanced on their
shoulders, as well as more-modern images that are bold and dramatic, featuring
the canyon’s startling natural beauty.
“The museum is a prime
example of Peoria’s commitment to the arts,” according to City Manager Carl
Swenson. “It will enhance the city’s reputation as an up-and-coming cultural
destination in the West Valley.” He also said the timing goes well with Arizona
Centennial events the city has in the works.
Following a period of
renovations, Peoria is dedicating first-floor space in the east wing of City
Hall to the museum. City officials are working on a two-year exhibit plan that
will include both local and state artists. The plan also will include showing
pieces from the West Valley Art Museum, which recently relocated to Peoria. The
first year will focus mainly on exhibits related to Arizona and its upcoming
Centennial in 2012.
The grand opening will
include remarks from city leaders, music by local high school students and a
light breakfast. Peoria City Hall is at 8401 W. Monroe St. in Oldtown.
Deputy City Manager
Susan Daluddung believes the museum and other projects in Oldtown will help
strengthen the desirability of the area for new businesses. “With our two
forthcoming downtown parks – Osuna and Centennial Plaza – and the 84th Avenue
Streetscape project, the area is becoming more attractive,” she said. “An art
museum will add a good dash of culture.”
The goal of the space
is to bring art opportunities into the daily lives of residents. Additional
exhibition space is being identified in other city buildings to further increase
awareness of the arts. These components were identified in the city’s Arts
Master Plan, completed in 2009.
The Smithsonian exhibit
will run through April 17. Hours will be Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 4
p.m.; Thursday, noon to 6 p.m.; and by appointment. Admission will be free.