The proposed site is located in a vacant space at the corner of Broadway and Beaufort streets on the ground floor of the Uptown Station Parking Deck. Illinois State plans to operate an art gallery at the site.
“This agreement is a testament to the solid and mutually beneficial relationship Illinois State has with the town of Normal,” said Illinois State President Al Bowman. “The gallery will provide an avenue for our university’s talent right in our own backyard.”
“We are pleased we will have the presence of this first-class, fine arts gallery,” said Mayor Chris Koos. “It will add to the vibrant culture of Uptown.”
The gallery will be the primary exhibition space for Illinois State’s University Galleries. In addition to hosting large-scale exhibitions of work by artists from all over the nation and abroad, the gallery will feature work by Illinois State students, faculty, and alumni of the School of Art.
“Due to the prime location, our exhibitions will not only be far more accessible to the citizens of Normal, but also to the many visitors to our community,” said University Galleries Director Barry Blinderman, who will oversee the new Uptown art gallery. “We will also delight in hosting frequent civic gatherings, public performances, concerts, and exhibition tours for people of all ages.”
According to the agreement, the University will rent the space from the town of Normal. Town of Normal Manager Mark Peterson noted that over the next few months, the town will engage a designer to make improvements to the site and be reimbursed by Illinois State over a five-year period. The Town hopes to begin renovations later this summer.