For the Love of Art

Downtown Austin museum reveals vibrant new look

Downtown Austin museum reveals vibrant new look

The Contemporary Austin Jones Center With Liberty and Justice for All Jim Hodges 2016
The Contemporary Austin Jones Center reopens this weekend. Photo by Nicole Raney
The Contemporary Austin Jones Center With Liberty and Justice for All Jim Hodges 2016
With Liberty and Justice for All (A Work in Progress) by Jim Hodges. Photo by Nicole Raney
The Contemporary Austin Jones Center Moody Rooftop renovation 2016
The renovations include a revamped deck, now called Moody Rooftop. Photo by Nicole Raney
The Contemporary Austin Jones Center Moody Rooftop renovation 2016
The team will host a discussion with Dan Rather and artist Jim Hodges on December 15. Photo by Nicole Raney
The Contemporary Austin Jones Center With Liberty and Justice for All Jim Hodges 2016
The back of Hodges' installation is mirrored, so the letters seem to blend into the skyline. Photo by Nicole Raney
The Contemporary Austin Jones Center With Liberty and Justice for All Jim Hodges 2016
The view from behind With Liberty, overlooking Congress Avenue. Photo by Nicole Raney
The Contemporary Austin Jones Center Monika Sosnowska Habitat 2016
Inside the Jones Center, you will find Polish artist Monika Sosnowska's Habitat exhibition. Photo by Nicole Raney
The Contemporary Austin Jones Center Monika Sosnowska Habitat 2016
The new gallery space has been taken over by her labyrinth-like installation, Antechamber. Photo by Nicole Raney
The Contemporary Austin Jones Center Monika Sosnowska Habitat 2016
Sosnowska's work uses to-scale construction material she finds in Warsaw, Poland. Photo by Nicole Raney
The Contemporary Austin Jones Center With Liberty and Justice for All Jim Hodges 2016
The Contemporary Austin Jones Center With Liberty and Justice for All Jim Hodges 2016
The Contemporary Austin Jones Center Moody Rooftop renovation 2016
The Contemporary Austin Jones Center Moody Rooftop renovation 2016
The Contemporary Austin Jones Center With Liberty and Justice for All Jim Hodges 2016
The Contemporary Austin Jones Center With Liberty and Justice for All Jim Hodges 2016
The Contemporary Austin Jones Center Monika Sosnowska Habitat 2016
The Contemporary Austin Jones Center Monika Sosnowska Habitat 2016
The Contemporary Austin Jones Center Monika Sosnowska Habitat 2016

A downtown Austin staple has a new look. Ahead of the reopening celebration of The Contemporary Austin - Jones Center, CultureMap has a look at the building's renovations and an installation that shapes Congress Avenue.

The Jones Center closed in April for extensive renovations from Paul Lewis of LTL Architects. The gallery space now clocks in over 7,000 square feet, up from 5,100. The crowning jewel is the revamped open-air deck, now known as Moody Rooftop. The new space will host more events, including artist talks, moving screenings, educational classes, and private parties. When not in use, the rooftop will be open to the public.

Gracing the facade of the building is Jim Hodges' With Liberty and Justice for All (A Work in Progress), a large-scale installation along Congress Avenue and Seventh Street. The sculpture comprises 7-foot-tall letters installed 51 feet above the ground. Coated in iridescent film and lit at night from within, the letters seem to shift colors with changes in light and the observer's location and angle. The work is on long-term loan.

Also new to the Jones Center is an exhibition from Monika Sosnowska, HabitatThe gallery space has been taken over by her labyrinth-like installation, Antechamber. It's the Polish artist's largest solo exhibition in a U.S. museum, and it will be on view through February 26, 2017.

The updates are made possible through a $1.3 million grant from the Moody Foundation of Galveston and individual contributions from members and board members. The cost of the project was $3 million.

The museum is hosting a members-only party on Friday, December 16, to celebrate the reopening and the new additions. The Contemporary is also offering free admission to both campuses, in addition to free celebration at Laguna Gloria, on Saturday, December 17.