Gallery Renovations in Progress
We have been working long and hard to build the museum of our dreams. What started out as the dream of our founders Heather Kahn and Kristina Skillin, has been shaped by a community of artists, beaders, hobbyists, as well as city code compliance.
In this blog post we will continue to update you on our renovation progress, so please check back often to see what new projects we have accomplished.
September 14th update:
Our floor is done! We are incredibly grateful (and very satisfied) with the work done by Reliance Concrete Polishing of Exeter, NH in refinishing and giving new life to our concrete floors.
We chose an onyx stain which provides our floors with a darker gray tone under the high polish. Our walls will be similarly painted in shades of dark gray to provide a setting for the lighting of the gallery to focus attention on the objects and art on display.
This new floor will now withstand heavy foot traffic, as well as cases, exhibits, and renovation materials being moved across them for many many years to come. We are so pleased with the outcome and can’t wait to show it off once we are finally open!
August 25th, 2021:
As some of you may know, the space we have been granted by Caravan Beads was in fact their old retail bead store. The space is roughly 2,500 sq. feet, give or take, and a most… interesting… shade of pale purple. Fortunately, that last part is going to change.
We started by clearing the room of more than a decade of storage of various items left from use as a store, office, sewing studio, and occasional music practice room.
The vestibule, which juts out 8 feet into the room, was constructed when the original function of the building was a used car sales center. It is not easily removable and so our layout needed to be made around it. We intend to make this the official entrance into the gallery.
Our first bit of demolition came when we tore down the pegboard and removed the last remaining fixtures of the old retail bead store.
We have been meeting with the architect, and contractors to discuss flooring, painting, electric, and climate control systems. Our director Kristina made a model of the empty space so we could start planning our layout.
We knew from the beginning that we wanted to make as few permanent builds as possible, giving us the option to continually create new spaces with cases and exhibition partitions rather than immovable walls.
We replaced a single door with a double door as we had already received artwork that was too large to physically move into the gallery space. Installing the door has also made other renovations of the space much easier as we can now get larger equipment into the space as well.
We are about to complete the refinishing of the floor. It was painted concrete with years of scuffs, scratches, stains, and peeling portions all over. We received several quotes for different refinishing options and selected Reliance Concrete Polishing, located in nearby Exeter, NH. They have already ground, filled, and sanded the surface and are just applying a dark grey stain before buffing it to a high polish. We are delighted by the work so far as well as the very conscientious and professional attitudes of all their employees.
We continue to apply for grants and individual funding to complete all the renovations. We are well on our way, but have recently been dealt a setback. According to updates in the State of Maine Plumbing Code, we will now need to install two additional bathrooms and our fundraising to this point has not included this scale of construction. We are initiating a 2 month campaign to try and raise $30,000 for the new bathrooms, please consider donating here.
Our next steps include priming and painting the walls, building the cases, and addressing general lighting and electrical needs. We’re making progress and every day we are taking steps forward to get our space ready for visitors. Check back for more updates or join our newsletter to learn when we have posted something new!
- Heather Kahn