The Anderson Arts Center, one of the hubs for art in southeastern Wisconsin, will begin a new chapter on Sunday, Feb. 23, when it re-opens to the public after a $4.3 million preservation and modernization project.
The revamped arts center will offer a new geothermal heating and cooling system, new ADA compliant bathrooms, repaired roof and exterior walls, new landscaping, and updated gallery spaces and hanging systems.
“We are very excited to be able to reopen the new and improved Anderson Arts Center. You can feel how special the building is as soon as you enter,” said Edward Kubicki, Executive Director of the Kemper Center. “The updates will allow us to show even more artwork from more diverse artists from all over the region.”
The year-long renovation, funded jointly by the city and county of Kenosha, began in January 2019 because of external repairs needed on the 90-year old building. Madison-based InSite Consulting Architects and Kenosha-based Camosy Construction handled the project.
“This project really shows how the city and county can work together for the good of the community,” said Kubicki.
Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser said he was pleased to partner with the city and the nonprofit Kemper Center Inc. to help preserve a community jewel.
“This work ensures that the Anderson Arts Center will grace our lakefront for generations to come,” Kreuser said. “I thank the mayor for his support, and the great project team that orchestrated a first-class restoration of this historic building.”
Kenosha County Public Works Director Ray Arbet said the project team did an excellent job of designing and managing the project. The team was led by the county’s engineering project manager, Frank Martinelli, and included staff from InSite Architects and Camosy Construction.
“This was a complex project requiring a balance between the restoration of the building’s historical integrity while simultaneously installing a high-tech, energy-efficient building environment control system,” Arbet said. “All of this was accomplished under the project’s budget.”
The 9,000 square foot 30-room Anderson Arts Center was built between 1929 and 1931 as a home for the Anderson family. In 1977, Janet Lance Anderson deeded her house to Kenosha County to be part of the Kemper Center park grounds. She continued to live in the house until her death in 1989, at the age of 96, and the home officially became a part of the Kemper Center in 1990.
The Anderson Arts Center opened in April 1992. Since that date, the Arts Center has welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors to view more than 25 art exhibitions each year, participate in art and music programs, and attend events.
“The Anderson Arts Center has been a gem in the community for many years,” said Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian. “The City is pleased to support the efforts to update the building and ensure it remains a showcase for art in Kenosha.”
MAIN, EAST, AND UPPER GALLERIES: JURIED SHOW
“Artistic Expression from a Diverse Collection”
By the League of Milwaukee Artists (LMA)
AREA ARTISTS GROUP GALLERIES
By members of the Area Artists Group
The public is invited to attend opening day at the Anderson Arts Center, 6603 Third Avenue, from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23. Refreshments will be served. Following opening day, the Arts Center will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays. The current exhibitions will be open through Saturday, May 2, 2020.
The Center is funded through the generosity of donors and sponsors, grants, and artwork and gift shop sales. No tax dollars are used to fund the Center.
For more information, visit www.andersonartscenter.com or call 262-653-0481.