COD to prepare facility for rare Frida Kahlo exhibit

  • The College of DuPage is planning a 1,000-square-foot expansion of the Cleve Carney Art Gallery on the school's Glen Ellyn campus. COD trustees this week agreed to rename the facility the Cleve Carney Museum of Art.

    The College of DuPage is planning a 1,000-square-foot expansion of the Cleve Carney Art Gallery on the school's Glen Ellyn campus. COD trustees this week agreed to rename the facility the Cleve Carney Museum of Art. Courtesy of Cleve Carney Art Gallery

 
 

An art gallery on the College of DuPage campus soon will become a museum with a new name and expanded digs in preparation for the arrival next summer of an exhibition of works by famed Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

COD trustees on Thursday agreed to rename the Cleve Carney Art Gallery adjacent the McAninch Arts Center as the Cleve Carney Museum of Art.

The renaming comes as the Glen Ellyn-based school is gearing up for a 1,000-square-foot expansion of the gallery.

Officials say the larger space will enable them to provide a better presentation space for the Kahlo exhibit, which is scheduled to open next June.

The expansion will include installation of a museum-grade LED lighting system, a security system and a climate-control system to maintain the standards set by the American Alliance of Museums.

Construction on the estimated $2.5 million project is expected to begin in September and be completed by March.

The upgrades will set the stage for the facility to host the most comprehensive presentation of Kahlo's work displayed in the Chicago area since 1978, officials said. The exhibition, titled "Frida Kahlo 2020," will run June through August 2020.

"The McAninch Arts Center seeks to provide the highest quality performing and visual art to Glen Ellyn and the greater Chicago area," MAC Director Diana Martinez said in a statement. "This expansion is an incredible opportunity to enhance our visual art offerings and bring work by Frida Kahlo, a cultural icon, to our community ..."

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The Dolores Olmedo Museum in Mexico is loaning the collection, which contains 26 original drawings and paintings spanning Kahlo's career. The exhibition also will include a multimedia timeline with more than 100 photographic images from the artist's life, a video presentation and reproductions of Kahlo's clothing.

In addition to adding 1,000 square feet to the north side of the gallery, the construction will include an exterior redesign featuring sculptural folded metal panels and an LCD video wall that will be fully programmable.

Justin Witte, the gallery's director and curator, said improving the facility will allow it to host large-scale exhibitions.

"While the benefits of the proposed expansion will certainly be foundational to the upcoming Frida Kahlo exhibition," Witte said in a statement, "they will also extend far beyond 2020 and open up the possibility of hosting more museum-level traveling exhibitions in the years to come."

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