Ronald Nelson surveyed the LBMA Downtown museum’s 3,000-foot open, bright, airy space and said when you visit the museum for the first time “you feel like you can fly.”
He’s the museum’s executive director. It was just minutes away from the grand opening.
As a vacuum cleaner hummed away along a red carpet, Nelson admitted he was a little nervous before the unveiling of a collection from 35 Long Beach artists. After nearly a year of renovation, the Long Beach Museum of Art reopened its LBMA Downtown location, Saturday evening. A VIP preview and reopening celebration was attended by, among others, Mayor Robert Garcia and philanthropist Josephine Molina, who donated $1 million to the project.
The debut exhibition is titled “Collecting Long Beach: Seven Decades from the Permanent Collection.” It opens to the general public on September 14.
LBMA Downtown is located at 356 East 3rd Street in a building built in the 1920s to house the National Cash Register Bank.
The current exhibit showcases pieces from Long Beach artists including Rod Briggs, Tony Marsh, Sandow Birk, Sarah Arnold, Frank E. Cummings and Carl Aldana.
Museum director Nelson said he is reveling in the art scene that has blossomed in Long Beach over the past few years and the LBMA Downtown will be a vital part of that.