Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art Holds Anniversary Party

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art Holds Anniversary Party

Join Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) to kick off a year of festivities with a 20th anniversary launch party at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15.

This spring opening will be free for everyone to enjoy the galleries and mix and mingle with curators, artists and the community. The party will feature a signature drink, a DJ and a preview of the new exhibition "Now Playing: Video 1999-2019."


"The yearlong celebrations will look back to the history of the Museum in a variety of ways while also looking to the future through innovation," said Jennifer McCabe, director and chief curator.


This exhibition is the first time since the Museum was a movie theater that all four galleries, including the fifth multi-use gallery, will be dedicated to video art. Visitors will find themselves in dimly lit galleries, save for the glow of monitors and projectors illuminating the space to immerse the viewer.

The once bustling United Artists Theatre - a five-plex movie theater - was repurposed by innovative, award-winning architect Will Bruder to become the Museum. The five theaters, once filled with moviegoers and popcorn fanatics, were redesigned into five flexible galleries that continue to tell stories but are now filled with museumgoers.

The curving metal skin on the exterior of SMoCA pays homage to the similarly curved facades of the neighboring Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, designed by the talented Arizona architect Bennie Gonzales. Additions to the building by Bruder, James Carpenter and James Turrell included an enclosed courtyard where sunlight plays across the "Scrim Wall," featuring translucent and colored dichroic glass by Carpenter, and "Knight Rise," 2001, a skyspace by Turrell. All three worked together to create the signature architectural elements that define SMoCA; materials, colors and forms echo throughout the building. The lobby of the building features two dramatic curved walls - one made of frosted glass, the other of dark gray steel - make reference to both the glass "Scrim Wall" and the elliptical "Knight Rise."


SMoCA could not have had such a successful two decades without the support of the community. It's the members, volunteers, supporters, friends and artists that have enabled the Museum to bring contemporary art, unique events and educational opportunities to Scottsdale. To commemorate the 20th anniversary, patrons and donors alike will be able to partake in a yearlong contribution campaign to further celebrate and support SMoCA.

Launching this year, the community will be able to celebrate the anniversary milestone through the Support SMoCA@20 campaign. Encompassing the theme of 20 years, the Support SMoCA@20 campaign will offer a range of contribution options designed to encourage broad participation at the $20, $200, $2,000 and $20,000 levels as well as opportunities to make a one-time gift or set up a payment plan.

"The 20th anniversary is a chance to reflect on some of the highlights of the Museum's 20 years. We are bringing former curator of performing arts, Tania Katan, back for a book launch; we are producing an exhibition of contemporary glass this summer; and we are making all the publications ever produced available for reading and for purchase. Additionally, there are several other programs broadly related to the 20th anniversary," McCabe said.

Stay tuned for additional fun throughout the year, including special events and exhibitions

that relate to the 20th anniversary. SMoCA's birthday year will culminate in a grand celebration and unveiling of future plans on February 15, 2020.

Opening exhibition is sponsored by Carrie Lynn Richardson and Paul Giancola.

Opening celebration is sponsored by Gensler.

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