The University of Maine Museum of Art, located in the Norumbega Hall building on Harlow Street in downtown Bangor, announced Monday that it has renewed its lease in the building for 17 years, keeping the museum in Bangor through 2031.
In May, the University of Maine System Board of Trustees approved the new long-term lease, July 1, 2014–June 30, 2031, and expansion of museum space on the third floor of the building for much-needed fine art storage.
In a letter of support, the Bangor City Council expressed its interest in having the museum remain in downtown Bangor “as a cornerstone of the arts for years to come.”
“The museum is now one of our primary cultural assets and an important aspect of the quality of life for Bangor citizens and those of the surrounding communities,” the council stated in the letter. “Perhaps most importantly, locating the museum in downtown Bangor has served to strengthen the bonds between the university community and the city of Bangor.”
The museum relocated in December 2002 to take on a new role as a regional fine arts center. The city of Bangor invested $400,000 toward the $955,000 renovation of the first-floor museum space in Norumbega Hall, built in the early 1900s.
The additional 1,955 square feet of storage space, that will soon be renovated on the third floor of the building, will be used for the museum’s growing collection.
“Over the years, the Museum of Art has contributed to the cultural life of Bangor and to the region,” said George Kinghorn, executive director and curator of the UMaine Museum of Art. “UMMA’s downtown location continues to advance the university’s land-grant mission of outreach and service to Maine citizens by providing quality visual art experiences. It has been most rewarding to play a key role in the revitalization and recent growth of downtown Bangor.”
Currently on display at UMMA through Sept. 20, 2014 are three exhibits: “Awake: Paintings by Maya Brodsky,” “Looking Back Six Years – Part Two, Selected New Acquisitions,” and “Young Curators: 8 Scoops.” The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It is located at 40 Harlow St. Admission is free.