After 20 years, the McKinney Avenue Contemporary is departing its blue building in Uptown. June 27 is the last day to see the current exhibitions at 3120 McKinney Ave. and Kitchen Dog Theater’s final production there, The Firestorm. (And it’s a good one.)
In early 2016, the MAC will have a new home in the Cedars neighborhood, at 1601 S. Ervay St., within walking distance to the DART Cedars station and South Side on Lamar. It’s a move that “further solidifies the Cedars’ status as the city’s newest artistic hub,” writes Kendall Morgan.
“This is not a wake, this is not a sad occasion (bittersweet perhaps); this is a celebration of 20 great years and a new beginning in a new location in the Cedars,” an email from the MAC reads. “We will be a virtual artspace for awhile, while the new physical space is being renovated. What this means, we are defining day by day. But great things are happening and we want all of you to continue to be a part.”
MAC co-founder Claude Albritton told Morgan a move has been in the works since 2006. The Design District was the original plan, but that got put on hold. The new space was “too good an opportunity to pass up,” Albritton says.
Comprising three old brick buildings and metal sheds, the 2.16-acre complex will give the MAC the opportunity to expand its focus while creating a new gathering place for the community. Architect Dan Shipley is remodeling the buildings; the sheds will be demolished to make way for outdoor space.
The new five-building campus will include a wine and beer garden, coffee house and restaurant, theater, building to house environmental nonprofits, and — hopefully — a permanent photographic arts gallery in addition to the main exhibition space.
For those who would like to say goodbye to old blue, there are three exhibits on display through Saturday. In the large gallery, “DeForrest Judd: Paintings”; in the square gallery, “Akirash: Adittu (Puzzle)”; and in the new arts space, “Angela Chestnut: Syn-Aesthetic.” Gallery hours are 11 am-9 pm.
The Firestorm’s final show is June 27 at 8 pm. KDT will perform next season in its interim space, the Green Zone.