ArtCentre of Plano

My family has this rule about vacations. See, no matter where we go, we always designate one day for what we call “culture day.” Whether it was in The Scottish National Gallery, The Louvre, The Van Gogh Museum, The Getty Museum, or The New Mexico State Museum, I learned early on that art is in everything and I’m trying to pass that on to my children.

The arts, whether they be music, dance, painting, sculpture or yarn bombing, are meant to evoke an emotional response and add to our human existence. What might that have to do with Plano, you ask? Whether you are a newbie to the world of art or have already traveled extensively to see the Mona Lisa and other riches of art history, ArtCentre of Plano should be one of the stops on your cultural expedition.

 

Executive Director of ArtCentre of Plano for the last 11 years, Suzy Jones has made it her mission to educate the residents of Plano and provide them the opportunity to see firsthand some really amazing work. She has a B.A. in Experimental Studies (Studio Arts and Art History) from East Texas State (now Texas A&M Commerce) and an M.A. in Art History from Southern Methodist University. She also taught at Richland College and Collin College before taking the helm at ArtCentre. Plainly put, Suzy knows her stuff.

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ArtCentre’s Executive Director, Suzy Jones // all photos by Jennifer Shertzer

ArtCentre opened in 1981 as a gallery/exhibition space and has evolved over time. In 1991, it moved to downtown Plano and occupied the building on the corner of 15th and Avenue K. When it was deemed that ArtCentre needed a bit more space, it relocated to the 1890-built Olney Davis House at 18th and Avenue H.

And now once again, ArtCentre of Plano finds itself in the process of a rather formidable move. Given the opportunity to renovate and move into the 1906-built Saigling House at Haggard Park, they have temporarily set up shop inside the Cox Building until renovations are complete around the end of 2016.

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The Sailing House and the main entrance-to-be as it currently appears
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An artist’s rendering of what the finished Saigling House should look like by the end of 2016

ArtCentre’s purpose is much more than just being a space where one can view and purchase art; it has a long history of public education. Students in Plano Independent School District visit during 3rd grade to discover how art is made, what qualifies as art, how galleries obtain the art they show, and how to make art themselves.

The City of Plano voted unanimously on August 10th to make downtown Plano a designated arts district. The city has asked ArtCentre of Plano to collaborate with 18 other renowned arts influences in Plano to help design what the final arts district will entail. As Suzy explains, “Everything will tie together and support each other.” From the updated live performance space at McCall Plaza to galleries sprouting up around downtown and festivals held throughout the year at Haggard Park, the new downtown arts district will offer something for everyone.

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ArtCentre of Plano is temporarily housed in the Cox Building in downtown Plano

How will this new designation affect the entirety of Plano? Beautification and additions to historic downtown will essentially draw more visitors to our fair village. More visitors leads to more revenue for the city and more demand for art in general. Essentially, If you build it, they will come.

When all is said and done, the new ArtCentre of Plano at Saigling House will have a larger useable space available for so much more than just showing art. The mission of ArtCentre is to “inspire, support and promote excellence, diversity and vitality in the arts and arts education in the community.” It’ll fulfill this mission by offering art classes for adults and children and giving art lovers a chance to create their own art or admire the work of someone else.

 

Suzy believes that showing quality art draws people in, and once you get them interested and invested in the local art scene, you can diversify the types of art shown. According to her, “No community has ever survived without culture.” So it really doesn’t have to be the Sistine Chapel or the British Museum–no need to book that flight to Rome or London just yet. It’s as easy as visiting ArtCentre of Plano to start your cultural journey.

ArtCentre of Plano Website >

 

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