After several years of traveling exhibits, the
Minnesota Museum of American Art
will have a regular gallery in St. Paul this fall.
The museum is moving into a ground-level space in the vintage Pioneer-Endicott
building, which developer Rich Pakonen plans to turn into a high-end housing complex. (See The Line
In 2009, the museum moved out of the space it rented at the Ramsey County Government Center.
It hasn't had a home base since then.
The 3,700-square-foot space at the Pioneer will enable the museum to do local programming, according to its director, Kristin Makholm.
“We haven’t had any kind of regular space in St. Paul to do any kind of on-the-ground programming for over two years, so this will allow us to intersect and create a vibrant space,” and to reconnect with local artists and community members. “It’ll be populated with events and conversations.”
At the same time, “We don’t consider this the final museum,” she says.
But the MMAA will be investigating the building as a permanent home. “That’s one of the reasons we chose this space for the gallery. It’s a testing ground,” she says.
The museum will continue to do shows in other locations in the short term, she says.
If the museum does decide to expand in Pioneer, it’ll bring in additional exhibits, classrooms, offices, and storage areas and fill up to 45,000 square feet, according to the Star Tribune
Besides the visibility that the space will give the museum, the building will be close to the coming Central Corridor
light rail line.
“It’s really going to help invigorate that part of St. Paul that traditionally lies between Lowertown and the Rice Park districts and connect the city,” she says.
Source: Kristin Makholm, director, Minnesota Museum of American Art
Writer: Anna Pratt