No longer the bridesmaid

Laguna Gloria finally gets attention it deserves with multimillion-dollar grant

Laguna Gloria to undergo multimillion-dollar enhancement

Austin Photo Set: News_shelley seale_laguna gloria_march 2012_amoa
The famous Austin villa was awarded a $9 million grant to enhance its collection as the outdoor art space for The Contemporary Austin. Courtesy photo
Austin photo: Places_Arts_Arthouse_Jones_Center_Stairwell
The Contemporary Austin underwent a re-brand in July. Courtesy photo
Austin Photo Set: News_shelley seale_laguna gloria_march 2012_amoa
Austin photo: Places_Arts_Arthouse_Jones_Center_Stairwell

Laguna Gloria, the 12-acre estate that serves as The Contemporary Austin's outdoor venue, will receive $9 million for the acquisition of sculptures and permanent installations, maintenance and original commissions.

The grant, a gift from the Dallas-based Edward and Betty Marcus Foundation, was given to The Contemporary Austin to "help transform the organization into an unparalleled outdoor-indoor art destination," according to the press release.

Laguna Gloria will undergo extensive renovations under the guide of a landscape architect who will be tasked with designing a sculpture park to be named after Edward and Betty Marcus in recognition of their gift.

In addition to commissioning and acquiring new work, The Contemporary Austin will use additional endowments to redesign the grounds, waterfront and surrounding woods to create a "art in nature experience."

Visitors eager to get a glimpse of Laguna Gloria's future can tour the grounds beginning September 21, when The Contemporary Austin will present new works by Liam Gillick and Marianne Vitale.

Vitale was recently featured in the Zach Feuer gallery in New York, an exhibit that was heralded by the New York Times "as something approaching a near-perfect 10." In Austin, Vitale will take over the expansive outdoor spaces of Laguna Gloria with a series of "common crossings" composed of the switches that allow trains to change directions.

The exhibit runs through January 5, 2014.