The shadow of "David Bowie Is" looms large at the Museum of Contemporary Art in the early days of 2015. The traveling exhibition—which closed in January—was the museum's most popular attraction to date and director Madeleine Grynsztejn is determined to continue drawing new faces into the institution. At a press conference this morning, Grynsztejn announced the launch of the MCA's Vision Campaign, which is seeking to raise $64 million for the museum, the majority of which will be used to fund new programming. Fortunately, the museum has already procured $60 million through private donations, making the announcement little more than a congratulatory pat on the back.
The more exciting news was the announcement of a new restaurant, which will be accessible from street level and will presumably offer a more elevated culinary experience than the facility's current Wolfgang Puck cafe. Architectural firm Johnston Marklee has been hired to help re-imagine the layout of the museum to accommodate the new restaurant. The space occupied by the MCA's current restaurant will be repurposed into an "engagement zone," where visitors will be able to interact with artists. Construction of the restaurant will begin in January 2016, with a projected May 2016 opening.
A flurry of additional announcements revealed that the MCA is in the process of revamping its visual identity as well as its website. Design team Mevis & Van Deursen have been chosen to rebrand the museum, beginning with a playful new logo (pictured below) that was unveiled at the press conference. Grynsztejn stressed that the changes are a way of making the museum seem more "welcoming, smart and open" to visitors new and old.
None of the upcoming 2015 exhibitions announced at the conference feature rock stars, but a few of them are tied to music. These include "The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now" which explores works derived from avante garde music and a residency by local contemporary ensemble Eighth Blackbird, which will install a studio in the MCA and hold public rehearsals and recording sessions. It's hard to imagine these exhibits attracting Bowie-level crowds, but it's nice to see the MCA continuing to think outside of the box.