IMA: Art in transformation

IMA will have the whole building ready for the public in early 2015. - Contributed photo
IMA will have the whole building ready for the public in early 2015.
— image credit: Contributed photo

By Charlie Bodenstab

Special to the Journal

IMA’s latest show is the construction of its jewel of a building.

There is something hypnotizing about tracking the day-to-day progress of a construction site. That is what residents and visitors get to do over the next six months—watch the glass go up at the emerging San Juan Islands Art Museum (IMA) on Spring Street.

Christa MalayAlthough the opening is delayed due to unforeseen construction obstacles, there is good news. Instead of opening in stages with only the atrium and main galleries completed for the first exhibition, IMA will have the whole building ready for the public in early 2015. This includes a 4,000-plus square-foot main floor of galleries and entry, and about 1,400 square feet of workshop space on the second floor.

Programming is in place for 2015 and into 2016, and there is a broad-brush picture of activities and events during the remainder of construction. IMA looks forward to briefing the community about anticipated exhibitions and activities over the next few months.

Watch the light-filled gallery rise, which will feature individual artists, group themes and collaborative efforts from recognized artists as well as emerging ones. The media will range from photography to painting to sculpture to installation art and beyond.

Programming will include docent-led tours, films, concerts, culinary events and The San Juan Islands Museum of Art plans to surprise guests with a fresh experience each visit.

Over the last 10 years, in various venues, IMA has exhibited national-quality art and exceptional regional talent. IMA makes the visual arts an accessible and vibrant part of the islands’ community by offering visitors and residents hands-on family activities and arts education programs.

The new museum is designed by noted architect, Richard Hobbs, in the repurposed EMX building at 540 Spring Street, in Friday Harbor. The builder is Wellman & Zuck of Bellingham, Wash.

A sample of previous exhibits includes Lanny Bergner’s Nature’s Matrix, Ernest H. Brooks: Silver Seas, The Art of Adonna Khare and Anna, Anna Skibska, as well as the popular Art As A Voice programs.

— Editor’s note: Charlie Bodenstab is president of the IMA Board of Directors.


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