Following the end of summer school in August, the Lux Art Institute will embark on a major expansion with the construction of an Education Pavilion. The structure will house two large youth classrooms as well as a lecture space, artists’ workshop, woodshop, adult art lab, gallery for kids’ art, digital lounge and extensive office and storage space.
Lux Art Institute opened in 2007 as the culmination of an effort that began in 1998 when a group of local art patrons and philanthropists joined with Reesey Shaw, the founding director of the California Center for the Arts Museum, to discuss how to encourage a better understanding of visual art.
The outcome of that dialogue was the concept of a museum that today provides a venue where visitors can observe the artistic process firsthand, and engage with internationally-recognized artists in a working studio environment. The first permanent building on the campus of the Lux Art Institute was the Artist Pavilion.
In addition to interior space, the new Education Pavilion will have a series of rolling garage doors along the back of the building which will open up to a park setting that offers rich native gardens, shaded picnic areas and a small amphitheatre.
“There will be a lot of open air, community events such as bands, performances and movies projected on the back wall,” Lux director Reesey Shaw explained. “The space will be used in a lot of interactive ways.”
The $2.7 million expansion is on the site previously occupied by the Sanderling Waldorf School, which was granted a four-year lease in 2008 following Lux’s acquisition of a 7,000-square-foot former daycare facility.
“We've known for awhile now how much more space we've needed, and for years we've heard the requests from members and supporters for more room, more programs and more parking,” Shaw added. “So it's thrilling to know that soon enough, we'll no longer have to limit class size, turn kids away, tamp down events, redirect adults interested in art education or have interns and staff crammed into tight quarters. We look forward to being the sort of center for creativity, education and community that San Diego needs."
The community will be able to begin taking advantage of the improvements when the project is completed late this year or early 2013.
“There will be expanded classrooms and summer camp with three classrooms instead of one,” director of education Kara Leen explained. “We’re also launching an adult studio art class. We’ll have lecture space for seating 100 for a speakers’ series and be able to offer a lot more workshops outdoors, such as figure painting, inspired by our artists in residence.”
Leen added that there will be film screenings including the PBS series, Art21.
“In the digital lounge we’ll run our Junior Art Board program which is new for middle-school students,” she said. “A select group of about twelve kids will meet after school to learn what goes on behind the scenes at a museum such as Lux. Then they’ll develop their own Lux program for kids their age. They’ll have the opportunity of meeting artists, building their own portfolio, planning events and soliciting artwork from friends.”
Lux Art Institute is the recipient of the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s top design award, the Grand Orchid, and the first art museum in California awarded LEED certification for new construction. It has partnered with Anne Sneed Architectural Interiors on the new Education Pavilion with outdoor space designed by award-winning landscape architect Glen Schmidt.
Lux Art Institute is located at 1550 South El Camino Real in Encinitas. Hours are Thurs. and Fri., 1 to 5 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit luxartinstitute.org or call (760) 436-6611.