Art Works is a revitalized space within the iconic 1930s-era Joslyn Art museum designed to inspire imagination and creativity. Once a dark, closed and unused library archive area in the lower level, the new creativity center now welcomes children of all ages into a bright world of discovery. Cut through a three-foot thick wall, the entry corridor and archway seamlessly blends the historical context of the surrounding spaces with the renovated space.
A relatively small space, its curved, fluid design invites big ideas in a limitless world of imagination at nine different creative activity stations, named for members of the Weitz family, the generous donors behind the project. The activity stations feature a variety of custom design details and provide visitors with a chance to exercise their artistic expression and interact with art in a new way.
A palette of vibrant greens, oranges and blues is used in the play area to reflect the colors used throughout the museum. Kid-friendly stations with names like "Charlie's Observation Station" and "Curiosity Corner," tie to actual collections and exhibits at the museum such as the permanent masterworks and contemporary art collections, in addition to Native American bead works and clay sculptures from ancient civilizations. A variety of digital art stations offers budding artists the opportunity to paint with touch screens and write and illustrate individualized stories that incorporate existing works of art.
All of the materials and finishes, including the custom-made stools and tables (with removable panels for storage) and the colorful green panels of the built-in and suitably-sized rest, relaxation and quiet play spaces, were designed to be both appealing and functional. A mixture of solid-color laminates and solid-surface materials is used at all work surfaces. The focal point—a 3D vertical light pillar in the center molded with rigid, vividly-colored and nearly transparent polycarbonate panels—invites visitors to design acrylic art that seems to flow from the light.
- 2015 Winner, Education category - International Interior Design Association (IIDA), Great Plains chapter IDEA Awards
- 2015 Honor Award, Innovative Use of Space - International Interior Design Association (IIDA), Great Plains chapter IDEA Awards
- Type of Construction: Renovation
- Size: 1,500 SF (139 m²)
- Professional Services: Architecture, Engineering, Interior Design, Lighting Design, Programming, Signage & Wayfinding, Wayfinding Planning & Design
- Project Components: Playground, Public Art
- Project Type: Museum
- Related Projects: Architecture, Civic
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