Long Beach Museum of Art Downtown (LBMA Downtown) opens the former Art Exchange building Sept. 14 after an extensive renovation. LBMA Downtown, 356 E. Third St., is an extension of the museum’s main campus at 2300 E. Ocean Boulevard.
The LMBA and downtown Art Exchange merged in 2018. The Art Exchange struggled after the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency — a source of funding — was dissolved. At the time of the merger with LBMA, Jay Hong, a long-time Art Exchange board member, was quoted as saying, “What we’ve done is ensured that there’s a continuity of the vision for the old Art Exchange that the museum will now carry on.”
According to information provided by LBMA, the support of Long Beach philanthropist Josephine Molina continues to elevate the city’s thriving culture and diverse art communities. The new LBMA Downtown, in the heart of the Arts District of Long Beach, will be an inclusive space for community and creativity, learning and timely conversations about contemporary art. Molina’s exceptional generosity recognizes and supports the value of the Long Beach Museum of Art’s long dedication to serving its community through the arts, LBMA Executive Director Ron Nelson said.
“In addition to making an artistic statement and creating history, an important goal of an art institution is to educate and expand,” Nelson said. “Expanding our space means that more contemporary and beautiful works of art by established and emerging artists can be presented.”
Constructed in the 1920s as the National Cash Register Bank, the 3,000-square-foot renovated space has newly reinstalled galleries, with exposed brick walls. Featured in the up-coming exhibit, artist Lori LaMont said, “Art is enhanced when presented in a beautiful setting. I am thrilled that my work was chosen for the grand reopening at this amazing location and in this impeccable venue.”
"Collecting Long Beach: Seven Decades from the Permanent Collection," is LBMA Downtown’s opening exhibit. It provides a review of artwork for 35 Long Beach contemporary artists created over the last 70 years, including Rod Briggs, Tony Marsh, Sandow Birk, Sarah Arnold, Frank E. Cummings and Carl Aldana.
"Collecting Long Beach" runs from Sept. 14 through Nov. 3. LBMA Downtown will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, to 5 p.m. Sunday. It stays open until 8 p.m. every third Thursday of the month opens from 1 to 9 p.m. every second Saturday of the month. For more information, call 562-317-7300 or visit www.lbma.org.