A bold new visual art center
“This new building will ensure that the campus and the city of Berkeley have a world-class visual arts center for at least the next century.”
Downtown Berkeley’s bustling arts district will soon welcome a new neighbor. Visually arresting and versatile, the new Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) — opening in 2016 — integrates the campus’s former printing plant with a sleek and iconic metal-clad structure.
The facility, made possible in part by a significant gift from longtime BAM/PFA volunteer leader Barclay Simpson ’66 (ex-’43), will bring the institution’s dynamic art, film, performance, and education programs to a broader public. Planning began when an engineering survey determined that BAM/PFA’s current home could not be seismically upgraded without eliminating the central exhibit space.
Scarlet Cummings ’16, a sophomore majoring in art history and film, volunteers on the BAM/PFA Student Committee. Her only regret is that the new museum will open the year she graduates.
“For students who have more time on campus, however, it will undoubtedly prove to be an invaluable asset to their education,” she says. “Some of my favorite and most unique experiences in art history have involved seeing the works we’ve studied up close, as well as interacting with curators in an intimate setting.”
The new building will make the museum’s collections more accessible to students. It will also include galleries, a participatory art-making studio, study centers for film and works on paper, two theaters, a reading room, and a café.