Art Scene

Major expansion and new look planned for downtown Austin museum

Major expansion and new look planned for downtown Austin museum

Contemporary Austin Jones Center rooftop rendering
The Contemporary Austin - Jones Center will undergo major renovations in 2016. Courtesy rendering

Art lovers, rejoice. A new look — and more gallery space — are planned for The Contemporary Austin's downtown location. The organization recently announced plans for a major renovation and expansion initiative that will add significant gallery space to the Jones Center and make the museum's beloved rooftop even more accessible.

The project, made possible by a $1.3 million grant from The Moody Foundation, is slated to begin in summer 2016. To accommodate the renovations, the Jones Center is expected to close in May 2016 with a grand reopening planned for fall 2016. 

With the renovation, the museum's exhibition space will increase from 5,100 square feet to 7,000 square feet. This will allow The Contemporary Austin to organize larger-scale original shows and host touring exhibitions of greater size and breadth, notes a release.

Perhaps most notable is the addition of an open-air canopy over the iconic rooftop space, which will be renamed The Moody Rooftop. The permanent canopy will enhance the rooftop with much-needed shelter and shade, while providing the same unparalleled views of Congress Avenue and downtown Austin. 

"The expansion and improvement of the Jones Center takes us a long way toward [our] mission, allowing us to mount exhibitions that we wouldn't otherwise be able to bring to Austin and giving us increased capacity to organize illuminating films, concert, lectures, and other public programs on the rooftop," said Louis Grachos, executive director of The Contemporary Austin.