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On the heels of recent dramatic expansions of gallery space that made the Colby College Museum of Art the largest in the state of Maine, Colby has begun a project focused on art being created at the College. Site work has begun for a two-story art studio building extending from the Bixler Art and Music Center towards the Roberts parking lot. The $1.5-million facility will open for classes in the fall of 2001 and will be the 60th building on campus. With 9,000 square feet of floor space, it will have painting studios upstairs and sculpture studios on the ground level.
At the same time a half-million-dollar renovation project will be undertaken in Bixler's existing art studios and the entrance to the museum and its lobby will be redone. The museum courtyard was being completely overhauled for the installation of a major Richard Serra sculpture this summer.
The new building, which will be linked to Bixler, will be named for benefactors Linda (Johnson '64) and James B. Crawford '64, chair of the Board of Trustees. The Crawfords' $1-million naming gift, announced in May, ultimately made the project possible by helping to fulfill a challenge grant made several years ago by Paula (Crane 'H98) and Peter Lunder '58, H'98. A number of members of the art museum's Board of Governors as well as other Colby alumni and parents joined the Crawfords in responding to the Lunder's challenge, which also endows an additional, much-needed curatorial position for the museum.
The building was designed by Frederick Fisher & Partners of Los Angeles, the firm that designed the museum's Lunder Wing. "I'm thrilled with it," said Professor Michael Marlais (art). "It's just a tremendous addition to the department."
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