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This morning, Art Gallery of Windsor Director Catharine Mastin sent out an update on the status of the City purchase of the AGW Building, the library move and the recommendation of the museum feasibility study to locate a new museum at the gallery.
On February 2, 2012, Lord Cultural Resources, the consulting firm retained by the City of Windsor, presented their recommendations regarding a feasibility study for the Windsor Community Museum.
Their proposals include consideration of a long-term relationship with the Art Gallery of Windsor and an expansion of the downtown Cultural Hub, a concept which has been discussed at length this past year.
The preferred location identified for the Windsor Community Museum expansion is the AGW’s main floor. Based on consideration of public input, we look forward to working with the City and the Museum to ensure that the Gallery’s needs are met through further refinements to this proposal. The Gallery must play an important role in developing any Cultural Hub concept.
Meanwhile, the AGW Board and management are working closely with City officials to complete the sale of the building to the City of Windsor in a timely fashion. This will finalize a long-term lease agreement for the Gallery to ensure our future viability and sustainability.
Based upon previous meetings and discussion with both the City and the Windsor Public Library, the AGW is continuing to plan for the temporary move of the Library to the main floor as a co-tenant in this facility. We continue to await clarification regarding a final date for this move.
The discussion thus far includes the Library occupying the main floor, including the following areas: the shop, art sales, Barbaro Gallery, main concourse, Tepperman Sculpture Court and storage areas.
The AGW will continue to have access to the kitchen for catering purposes and the Betty F. Wilkinson Room will remain a shared auditorium space. The AGW will maintain the mezzanine level, second and third floors, including all galleries, studio, third floor venue spaces and all back-of-house amenities (storage, vaults, workshops, etc.). A long-term lease agreement will ensure that these areas remain exclusively for Gallery exhibitions, collections, programming and administration use.
In order to prepare for the changes ahead, and with consideration of several factors — including major construction of the neighboring Aquatic Centre — the AGW Board and management have made the difficult but necessary decision to close ShopAGW (formerly the Uncommon Market Gift Shop), and Art Sales effective March 18, 2012. My sincere thanks are extended to you for supporting these Gallery services over the years.
We appreciate your continued support as the AGW moves forward with the formation of a new operating model. During this transition, the Gallery is working towards future sustainability by examining how the Gallery generates resources and how they are allocated. This analysis is necessary to ensure that our mandate of exhibiting art, managing the collection, and art education is maintained and positioned for stability and growth.
–Catharine Mastin, AGW Director