Tucson Museum of Art brings itself to the 21st Century

Grant awarded to modernize Tucson Museum of Art

Justice Amarillas | The Daily Wildcat A collection of work featured in the Tucson Museum of Art exhibition, “Into The Night.” The exhibition explores the beauty of the evening sky and offers a discounted admission to students.

The Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block was awarded a $25,000 grant on Jan. 2 by the Flinn Foundation for researching and developing new technologies to integrate into the museum experience.

According to Kelly Wiehe, the museum’s director of communications and external affairs, the money from the grant will be dedicated to develop a high-quality technology plan for the Tucson Museum of Art, including digital tools for the museum itself and for communication between staff, volunteers and the public. 

“TMALearn plans to explore technology trends and practical applications that integrate seamlessly into the museum’s programs,” Wiehe said. 

The use of technology through the research of best practices will allow TMA to further achieve its mission of “connecting art to life” by creating an environment focused on the changing needs and behavior of audiences living in this age of rapidly evolving technology. 

The new technological developments will reflect the museum’s mission of broadening public access to the arts and enriching daily life, according to its website. 

“The grant aligns with the Tucson Museum of Art’s goal of transforming into the city’s technologically advanced 21st century artistic, cultural and community hub for audiences living in the digital age,” Wiehe said. 

The Tucson Museum of Art, established in 1924 as the Tucson Fine Arts Association, and Historic Block have a rich history in the city of Tucson.

In 1975, after acquiring five historic Tucson properties, the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block changed its name to reflect the expansion.

Today, the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block exists on an entire block in historic downtown Tucson, through the Museum of Art and the five historic houses.

According to its website, displays at the museum often centralize around Latin America, the American West, Modern and Contemporary art and Asian art. Besides art displays and exhibitions, the museum offers tours, education programs, studio art classes and a store.

From Feb. 1 until April 22, the Museum will have “Midcentury Perspectives: Paintings by Andy Burgess and Objects of Modern Design,” showcased. 

The display focuses on urban landscapes through the paintings, drawings and photography of Burgess, a prominent British artist, as well as select objects that inspired the work. Burgess’ move to Tucson in 2009 influenced his work to be more reflective of the American Southwest.

Another upcoming showcase at the Museum is “The West Observed: The Art of Howard Post.” This exhibit, running from March 3 to June 24, features new and old work from Post, a famous Arizonan artist. His art, ranging from sculptures to paintings to drawings, depict life in the American West. 

The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It offers free admission from 5–8 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month. 

During Free First Thursday, the museum holds events, plays music and has a cash bar to enrich the museum experience. 

In addition, the second Sunday of every month brings Second SundAZe, free admission all day for residents of Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. 

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