Created to inspire the imagination and ignite critical dialogue through art and film, the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) opened its new home to the public in downtown Berkeley on Jan. 31, 2016. Living in the former UC Printing Press at 2155 Center St., the Diller Scofidio + Renfro–designed building features new spaces for galleries, film theaters, a café and study centers, in addition to the existing office building and large skylit exhibition space.
Seven-year director of the organization, Lawrence Rinder (pictured here) is excited to open the doors to the public. "The new building helps us provide the best possible spaces for the presentation of art and film," he says. "Other areas of the building provide dynamic architectural experiences to awaken the viewers' senses and stimulate their imagination. We have prioritized areas for collection access and engagement to increase not only our visitors' exposure to art and film, but also their opportunities to make art, read about art, and discuss art and film."
Not only informational but also engaging and awakening, each space offers the museum-goer an opportunity to be inspired, think critically and discuss the pieces in a highly collaborative way. David Wilson, the East Bay artist who curated the 2013 experimental exhibition The Possible, has been hired to program audience-engagement events and activities in areas such as printmaking in the all-ages art-making space, viewing a performance in the Crane Forum, and conversing with other patrons or listening to seminars in the Koret Reading Room. Make sure you also visit the Collection Portal, a 10-foot-wide touchscreen monitor that displays images and information about works in the museum's collection. Or, take a personal information-rich journey at any of the four study centers and learn more about historical Asian art, film, works on paper and conceptual art.
Building and Metaphor: The New BAMPFA and Architecture of Life Lecture Video
To ensure that the new space reflects the museum's mission, Rinder has scheduled fascinating exhibits, films and concerts throughout the year. "I want visitors to be surprised, inspired, amazed and excited," he says. "And I want them to come back!"
For exhibits and dates, visit bampfa.org.
Gallery photos by Iwan Baan. Courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, EHDD and the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive