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Museum of Art reopens following renovations

After temporarily closing its doors Oct. 17 in order to undergo renovations that would make it more accessible for individuals with physical handicaps, the UNH Museum of Art in the Paul Creative Arts Center (PCAC) is set to hold its opening reception on Thursday, Feb. 2. The event will also serve as the premiere of two new exhibits.

The addition of a LULA elevator was among the changes that took place during the revamping of the museum, which also included a new staircase, a gallery attendant desk and a coatroom.

“The landing on the top floor has been widened because of the LULA lift, so we have a lot of extra space there, ” said education and communications manager of the museum, Sara Zela. “And more people can congregate upstairs, whereas before the renovations, there wasn’t a lot of space for people to congregate and to socialize.”

One of the two new exhibits opening to the public Thursday evening, “Momentum: Works by the University’s Art and Art History Department Faculty,” will be on display on the top floor of the museum until April 9. The exhibit features selected works in various mediums from a group of UNH faculty members that consists of Sachiko Akiyama, Brian Chu, Richard Fox, Craig Hood, Julee Holcombe and Donald Williams.

“We have ceramics, we have two-dimensional paintings, we have sculpture work,” Zela said. “And so it’s a variety of beautiful work that helps our students recognize the accomplishments of our art department faculty members, and their talents as well.”

The other new exhibit, “Closer Readings:  New Hampshire Writers Respond to Art,” will run as the bottom-floor exhibit until May 19.

With this exhibit, Museum Director Kristina Durocher selected responses from various writers that reflected on over 40 pieces featured in the collection. Among those participating writers were the following UNH faculty members:  English Lecturer Sarah E. Earle,  English Professor Diane P. Freedman, English Principal Lecturer Clark Knowles, English Assistant Professor Tom Haines, and English associate professors  Lisa Miller and Susan Hertz.

Thursday’s  opening reception will be held from 6-8 p.m. and will be free for all UNH students.

“We’re [going to] have live music, and the jazz ensemble of the music department is going to be playing for us,” Zela said. “We have free refreshments, there’ll be a cash bar and it will just be a really nice event.”

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