Costa Mesa has a new neighbor— the Orange County Museum of Art, which debuts its new building to the public at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts on Oct. 8.
The $94-million building, designed by Morphosis Architects as directed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne, has been in the works for more than a decade. It features a grand outdoor staircase, modeled after New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art steps, that will double as amphitheater seating for performances. There’s a large-scale, site-specific sculpture by Sanford Biggers atop the terrace, more than 15,000 square feet of green space and nearly double the gallery space to show art.
Which is a good thing, because the museum is opening with five exhibitions including a survey of work by 81-year-old New York-based sculptor Fred Eversley; a show of work by “13 pioneering female artists” in OCMA’s collection that pays homage to the museum’s 13 female founders — the institution was formed in 1962 as the Balboa Pavilion Gallery; and a resurrection of the museum’s long-running California Biennial.
But first, OCMA must finish construction. The Times got an exclusive photo tour of the space as the museum put finishing touches on the building just weeks before opening its doors.
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Deborah Vankin is an arts and culture writer for the Los Angeles Times. In what’s never a desk job, she has live-blogged her journey across Los Angeles with the L.A. County Museum of Art’s “big rock,” scaled downtown mural scaffolding with street artist Shepard Fairey, navigated the 101 freeway tracking the 1984 Olympic mural restorations and ridden Doug Aitken’s art train through the Barstow desert. Her award-winning interviews and profiles unearth the trends, issues and personalities in L.A.’s arts scene. Her work as a writer and editor has also appeared in Variety, LA Weekly and the New York Times, among other places. Originally from Philadelphia, she’s the author of the graphic novel “Poseurs.”
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