Planning for the Gallery of California Art
Oakland Museum of California
"By transforming our collections galleries into spaces filled with ongoing activity and change, the Museum can better reflect the range of ideas that give California its vitality. We are marrying new forms of art and cultural expression with engaging interpretation to match the energy of our forward-looking, visionary state.
Our goal is to connect our public to California’s cultural and environmental significance." – René de Guzman, OMCA Senior Curator of Art
Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) was selected as part of the first cohort of the Arts Innovation Fund (AIF) in 2006. The museum's original proposal was to attract larger numbers of diverse audiences, to offer those audiences new ways to experience and interpret art from multiple perspectives, and to achieve the previous two aims through the creation of a new, engaging and interactive Gallery of California Art. The AIF project grew out of a larger, capital campaign to expand and reinstall OMCA’s collection galleries and renovate its landmark facility.
Through its AIF work, OMCA has achieved a number of objectives during early phases of its renovation, among them, the creation of a baseline survey of art gallery attendance (the results of which will be compared with a follow-up survey when the Gallery of California Art re-opens in June 2010); the hosting of creative colloquia on technology, language and co-creation; and the development and testing of roughly 150 prototyping events for interactive learning and public programs that garnered over 2,100 visitors and involved numerous community partnerships.
The research and testing enabled OMCA to develop a concrete list of new interpretive, multimedia programs and elements that will be integrated into the new gallery when it opens in mid-2010. As a result of these AIF activities, OMCA also now conceived of itself and the new gallery as places where art is experienced rather than just exhibited.
The Oakland Museum of California was featured in an August 2009 Arts Knowledge News article.
Posted March 16, 2010