Northeastern light: Toshiko Mori designs a shiny new building for CMCA
The town of Rockland in Maine welcomes a glittering addition to its cultural landscape this month. Just last week, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art inaugurated a new building designed by the architect Toshiko Mori – a vision of glass that makes the most of Maine’s northeastern light.
Originally located in the neighbouring town of Rockport, and founded in 1952, the CMCA's new home places it in walking distance of other local institutions, such as the Farnsworth Art Museum and the Wyeth Center. It also marks the first permanent home for the organisation, which was staffed by volunteers and migrated during the first 15 years of its existence. The new 11,500 sq ft building provides more than 5,500 sq ft of exhibition space, with a spacious central courtyard, visible from all three galleries and vice versa. The building will also house a classroom and gift shop to ensure all visitors have a well-rounded experience.
CMCA director Suzette McAvoy says, ‘By creating an architecturally significant space in the heart of Rockland’s downtown arts district, CMCA will empower itself, more than ever before, to pursue its core mission of showcasing well-known and emerging Maine artists while taking Maine contemporary art to a new and elevated level.’
The new building opens with three solo exhibitions by the artists Jonathan Borofsky, Alex Katz and Rollin Leonard, who all have connections to Maine. Katz’s small scale oil paintings and Leonard’s photographic and video works are offset by a site-specific, figurative installation by Borofsky, which graces the courtyard, to prove that Maine’s art scene has very much to offer indeed.