By: Marisa Herman Associate Editor
After a summer hiatus, Delray’s historic Cornell Art Museum is set to reopen with a fresh, new look next month.
The grand re-opening is set from 7 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 8. Contemporary art lovers will be able to enjoy the new backdrop for exhibits during the reception, which is open to the public. The next day a new exhibit Looking Glass will officially be open at the museum.
The $1 million redesign is all thanks to a donation by Boynton Beach resident, philanthropist and arts lover Margaret Blume.
“Our major goal was to simplify it,” she said of the city’s former school house. “It’s going to be a place where art is going to be a big attraction. It is something to be proud of.”
She calls the museum perfect because of its small size.
“Usually you are on overload when you go to a museum,” she said. “It’s not some big, complicated place. You can go through and its always changing. It’s very edgy.”
The arts aficionado said she found out about from her friend who is a local artist. After Blume sponsored one of the shows at the museum she found out about plans at Old School Square to fix up some parts of the space on a minimal budget.
She said if she was going to be involved she wanted to spend the money to “do it right.”
The renovation includes:
Modifying the front and back entrances to the museum to create a more welcoming appearance and to allow more space for setting up and breaking down exhibits.
Adding movable walls to allow for additional configurations within each gallery to change the look of each exhibit.
Upgrading gallery lighting to meet current museum industry standards.
Adding new window coverings to each gallery.
Redesigning the Museum Store with new cabinetry and pictures to better display local art.
She said she wanted to get involved in the renovation because the museum staff is so energetic and open to new ideas for the space.
“Everyone has the agenda of making it a community asset,” she said. “When I choose charities or places to donate, I choose things that are very easy to understand and clear in purpose and not political. Art is straightforward and it makes people feel good and its good for the soul.”
The new museum comes with a new exhibit “Looking Glass,” which will run from Nov. 9 through Feb. 25.
Looking Glass is a group exhibition feature contemporary artwork that immerses the viewer into the piece by creating their reflection. The viewer and the space the piece is in become a part of the work. Visitors are asked to use #LookingGlass in their social media posts.
Looking Glass will feature artists who have considered the reflection as a part of the work:
Leah Brown and Peter Symons (Ft. Lauderdale) have collaborated on an installation piece, which immerses the viewer into a prism.
Ryan Everston (Portland, OR) will show a sculptural typography-based work.
Guillaume Lachapelle (Montreal) has used mirrors in four pieces depicting scenes that seem to capture infinity.
Lee Northwick (UK) will show a large hanging work.
Jeremy Penn (Brooklyn) has created 10 word-based, pop pieces that use the reflection of the viewer as in integral part of the piece.
Lilibeth Rasmussen (Denmark) will exhibit mannequin-like mirrored sculptures as well as a performance piece featuring mirrored costumes.
Daniel Rozin (New York City) is showing work that reflects the viewer’s movements through use of projection and technology.
Chris Wood (UK) is contributing three pieces that use a reflective glass that allows some light to enter, causing an array of different colored reflections on the walls around the piece.
Along with the interior changes come new hours and admission fees. The museum will now be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. It will be closed on Mondays and major holidays.
Admission cost $8, $5 for seniors over 65 and for students with an ID. Old School Square members, children under 12 and veterans receive free admission. Delray Beach residents receive free admission on Sundays.