LMCC opens the Arts Center at Governors Island this September

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Today, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council announced the opening of the Arts Center at Governors Island, which will bring over 40,000 square feet of new arts space to Soissons Landing as the first permanent arts facility on Governors Island. We’re thrilled for LMCC, who have been active on the Island since becoming one of our first tenants in 2009, to complete this beautiful space and move into their new permanent home!

LMCC’s Arts Center will provide ample studio space for artists in its residency programs to develop their work, as well as public space for exhibitions, events, and programs that will engage visitors and creators alike. Resident artists will begin using the space year-round when it opens this September and it will be open to visitors during the public access season from then until October 31, reopening to the public again for the 2020 season.

The first season of programming will focus on themes related to ecology, sustainability, resilience, history, and social justice and will include site-specific exhibitions by artists Yto Barrada, Michael Wang, and others. Barrada’s project, Tangier, incorporates sculpture, collage, textiles, video and other media to explore the changing relationships between cities (like New York, Tangier, Morroco and Tangier, Virginia) and their waterfronts, which once sustained them but now threaten them with rising sea levels. Wang’s project, Extinct in New York, creates a life support system in a series of miniature greenhouses that sustain species of plants once native to New York City but that can no longer be found here in the wild. During the public season, Open Studios Weekends will allow visitors a glimpse inside the working studios of these artists and others; a total of 19 artists-in-residence have been announced for 2019, with more to be announced in June.

Building 110, home of LMCC’s Arts Center, was originally built by the U.S. Army in the 1870s as an ordnance warehouse and later converted into military offices. LMCC partnered with the Trust for Governors Island on the renovation effort, with new interiors designed by PEI Cobb Freed & Partners and Adamson Associate Architects and engineered by BuroHappold Engineering. This renovation beautifully preserves and reveals the building’s original interior structures while transforming the space into a world-class arts complex. Visitors can see it for themselves while perusing exhibitions, attending public programs, or stopping by the cafe later this year. The new Arts Center is an exciting step in the Island’s transformation into a year-round destination.

Photo by Zachary Tyler Newton, courtesy LMCC.