So, two summers ago I interned for the curatorial department of the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA). The internship was wonderful as I had two friendly, open supervisors and some excellent fellow-interns. I also had a great view of the construction site of the new West Building from my little desk in the library. The wall was all windows, so I looked out onto red clay and cranes and concrete and fiberglass. The place was a mess, but I knew that by Spring of 2010 the red clay and bare walls would be transformed into the new NCMA campus.
And on Sunday April 26th, I was able to join the people of North Carolina in visiting this verdant, sculpture-filled accomplishment.
The NCMA is now composed of two buildings: the old East building, which will house temporary exhibitions and museum offices, and the new West building, which houses the permanent collection. The opening weekend was worth braving the crowds: site-specific dance, arts and craft activities, various musical acts and food trucks(!) made it super fun.
So, the new building. It is large, and white, and sort of ware-housey, but extremely bright and spacious and full of natural light, which I love. I wish I could speak more as to how I felt the art looked, but I was really distracted by all the people and all the site specific dancers and all the commotion and excitement!
There were some amazing contemporary pieces commissioned for the new space:
As you can see, some of these beautiful pieces are outdoors! Here are a few more, including some Rodin from a giant gift given by a generous donor.
So those pretty garden/courtyards are interspersed through the “modules” of the West building, they are lovely and walkable.
Some other art that I liked:
Some burgers were had, as well, from the Only Burger truck. Amazing burgers, mine had an egg, pimento cheese, and a fried green tomato. I should have taken a picture, but I was too busy eating. And catching up with my supervisor-curator-friend Kinsey Katchka. The East building had some Mahler symphony happening as well, which we heard in snippets while wandering around looking at light installations and a dismantled drum kit.
So, that was a fun day. I need to go back to the museum when there are fewer people so I can actually judge whether or not the West building is a success, but it was fun to be a part of the scene. Yay NCMA.