A rendering of the Tampa Museum of Art’s new Education Center, as seen from outside along Curtis Hixon Park. Part of the existing renovation project. (Photos courtesy of the Tampa Museum of Art.)

The Tampa Museum of Art is thrilled to announce the official opening of seven new exhibition spaces. During the museum’s recently held Renovation Celebration, Tampa Bay’s leaders, museum benefactors and members gathered to mark the conclusion of the museum’s Centennial Renovation project phase, which began construction in mid-2021.

The new spaces include the transformation of underused storage rooms into the Vinik Family Education Center and seven new exhibition galleries. The spaces are designed by New York-based WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism, the firm also responsible for the expansion of the existing museum building.

With the completion of the renovation phase of the Centennial Renovation and Expansion, the museum’s exhibition and collection space has grown from 14,800 square feet to more than 43,000 square feet, including a renovated sculpture gallery on the first floor and a flexible multimedia gallery space on the second floor. The lobby of the existing building has been remodeled into a sculpture atrium, making art the focus of the visitor experience immediately upon entering the building.

The education spaces, now known as the new Vinik Family Education Center, have also grown from 1,400 square feet to more than 8,000 square feet. The Vinik Family Education Center began offering classes in May 2022 and includes four classrooms, a lobby, orientation space and a ceramics kiln. To date, the Vinik Family Education Center has served over 12,000 adults, children and teens through camps, studio classes, tours, art-therapy-informed programs and more.

“The Renovation Celebration marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the Tampa Museum of Art,” said Michael Tomor, the Tampa Museum of Art’s Penny and Jeff Vinik executive director. “With our expanded exhibition and education spaces, we are thrilled to be able to showcase the diverse work of so many talented artists and offer more programming to our visitors. We look forward to continuing to represent the vibrant community that we serve.”

As part of the realignment of space, WEISS/MANFREDI designed a new transparent facade surrounding the first floor of the museum, allowing the community to experience the museum’s mission 365 days a year. This new facade, along with the expanded museum store, atrium galleries and new west lobby, align with an important initiative of the Centennial Campaign to increase both visibility and accessibility to the Tampa Museum of Art.

The next phase will be the construction of a stunning 55,000-square-foot expansion, which will transform the museum into a vibrant hub of art and culture. Designed as a crystalline pier extending the museum to the edge of the river, the new expansion will create a series of interconnected, multifunctional spaces that triple the event space from 7,200 square feet to 25,600 square feet.

The new addition will include a 150-seat auditorium, an art lounge, a large event space and a rooftop event venue, all of which will provide flexible settings for a wide range of art and cultural programming. The expansion will also feature new outdoor sculpture areas, bringing art to the redeveloped public spaces along Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and the Tampa Riverwalk. With the new expansion, the Tampa Museum of Art aims to offer a seamless and integrated public experience around the museum and the park.

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