On September 7, as angry overcast skies threatened the late summer celebrations planned for the weekend, the Marion Art Center was in full celebratory mode inside and out.
Through the fundraising efforts of the board of directors and a willingness of a neighbor to negotiate a fair purchase price, the MAC purchased a small parcel that will expand its property holdings by some 2,100 square feet.
Neighbor Mark Barry was able to subdivide his abutting property after discussions and approval by town boards. With that bit of bylaw business completed and with favorable approval from officials, the way was cleared to grant the MAC the opportunity to purchase the land. While describing the mature trees on the land now owned by the MAC, Barry said he was pleased it all came together and that the center would now have additional space for special events.
Jennifer Wolfe Webb, president of the MAC Board of Directors, said, “Thanks to Mark, we had the opportunity to purchase the land.” She also thanked unnamed donors whose contributions made the purchase possible. “Special thanks to Eric Strand for spearheading the donations,” she added.
Webb spoke of the contributions of MAC Director Jodi Stevens, saying, “She made everything possible.” Webb said with a chuckle that now that the MAC has a yard, it also has grass that needs to be mowed. While it is too soon to say how the additional space will be used, Webb said, “There is lots of potential.” She noted such potential activities as outdoor art classes, exhibits, and special events. “It’s an exciting time for the MAC – we are growing.”
Stevens said that having the space means there is the opportunity to make handicap access to the MAC a reality. While she wondered aloud how access to the stage area could also be modified to accommodate those using mobility devices, she was encouraged that people could possibly have easier access to the first floor gallery space. Thinking ahead, she said an elevator to the second floor gallery, while not planned at this time, might be considered at some point in the future. She said a feasibility study would help the MAC plan for the future.
The artworks currently on exhibit at the MAC are paintings done by Nancy Dyer Mitton and Robert Seyffert through September 28. Upcoming events include a jazz concert on September 14 at 7:30 pm starring the David Mitton Project, and on September 28 at 11:00 am Robert Seyffert will give an artist’s talk.
Visit www.marionartcenter.org for further details.
By Marilou Newell