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Owsley Museum of Art to add Asian, ethnographic galleries during yearlong expansion

Contributed by: Chanel Lewis
Published: Monday, 18 June 2012 10:00 AM
Beginning later this month, the David Owsley Museum of Art at Ball State University will undergo a yearlong renovation project that will add more than 7,000 square feet to its gallery space. Construction inside the Fine Arts Building will take place on the east and west ends of the building's second floor, replacing classrooms and departmental offices that have moved to other locations on campus. Once completed, the museum's gallery space will expand from 17,179 square feet to 25,000 square feet — an increase of nearly 50 percent.

Director Peter Blume explained that the museum has long outgrown the space it inhabits, both in terms of the collection and programs it offers to the community.

"The expansion will offer more space for new works of art entering the collection, as well as the ability to install and interpret many works of art already in the collection not currently on view," he said. "This will allow visitors a fresh perspective on the entire collection."

A suite of galleries on the eastern end of the second floor will be devoted to Asian art, including works from India, China and Japan. Corresponding galleries on the western end will be devoted to ethnographic art, including Oceanic, African, Native American, and pre-Columbian South American. The architectural design also calls for a more inviting second entrance to the museum so visitors can more easily enter from the north side. Work is expected to continue through the year with an estimated completion date of spring 2013.

The Owsley Museum will remain open during the entire renovation, offering its usual full range of educational programs. Certain galleries may be closed from time to time to accommodate the construction schedule. Current information is available at the museum's website, www.bsu.edu/artmuseum.
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