It is always so interesting to be behind the scenes of a project, to see how all the pieces intertwine, and to know the stories that make up the history of how something great came to be.
As staff members of the NCMA, we have seen West Building go from a mass of red piedmont clay to a concrete slab to golden oak floors and luminous glass walls. We stood witness to cart after cart rolling by with precious cargo as the collection moved to her new home. And with all hands on deck the walls were touched up, floors scrubbed, cases polished, and plans finalized for the Grand Opening celebration.
And what a remarkable celebration it was. Over the three day weekend, members and visitors by the thousands strolled through the new galleries, enjoyed the Museum campus, and basked in the glow of returning to their beloved museum.
But visitors have the opportunity to experience one thing that the NCMA staff will never know–walking into the new gallery building for the first time, seeing the completed space filled with art all at once, and having that overwhelming moment of wonder and excitement over the glorious light, the stunning expanse, the sheer beauty of it all.
We know it happens because we’ve been watching you take it in for a few weeks now and we are just as happy that you have returned to the galleries as you are to be here.
By the numbers:
22,006 Visitors toured the new building during the opening weekend
690 artists, dancers, vocalists, and musicians participated in the Opening Festival
1,014 NCMA branded items sold over opening weekend
14,479 NCMA membership as of opening weekend
Visitors came from all over North Carolina, the US, and even from around the world including California, Alaska, Colorado, South Dakota, Vermont, Venezuela, Norway, Australia, India, and China.