The San Juan Islands Museum of Art (known as IMA) announced today that the organization has completed purchase of the building at 540 Spring Street that was the former home of the island’s Emergency Medical Service. Construction to convert the 5,000 square foot structure into a visual arts museum is scheduled to begin within a few days and to be completed by late June. The museum staff is planning for an opening exhibition to be open to the public over the July Fourth holiday next summer.
Charlie Bodenstab, the acting Executive Director of IMA pointed out that IMA has had full use of the building since entering into a lease-purchase agreement with the Hospital Board last May, this interim period has provided ample time to complete plans, contracts and permits for the project. IMA has concurrently undertaken the process of raising funds to support the costs of purchase and reconstruction.
IMA was formed ten years ago and has operated from a series of rented spaces in the downtown Friday Harbor corridor. The new facility will provide a permanent venue for offering exhibitions of the works of nationally renowned visual artists as well as a continuing series of displays of the works of up and coming local artists. In addition to hosting major exhibits of fine visual arts, IMA raises and distributes cash to support art in the Friday Harbor elementary and middle schools. IMA staff conducts a highly popular “Family Art Days” program in July and August each year.
IMA is a registered 501 C 3 nonprofit organization and depends on donations, fundraising and a cadre of experienced, capable and dedicated volunteers. For more information check out the website at www.sjima.org or call the museum office at 360-370-5050.