Portland Art Museum expansion aims for bigger exhibits

The expansion will be called the Rothko Pavillion

A rendering of the expansion with the Rothko Pavillion at the Portland Art Museum, October 7, 2016
A rendering of the expansion with the Rothko Pavillion at the Portland Art Museum, October 7, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A multi-million dollar expansion at the Portland Art Museum will be built in between the museum’s 2 current buildings on the South Park blocks.

The 3-story glass-walled building — to be called the Rothko Pavillion — will connect the current art museum buildings. The name is to recognize the artist and family who helped fund this project.

The goal is to make the museum more accessible to the public and bring in bigger exhibits.

“What’s so important to me is that the community knows this is their museum, that it’s owned by the community and embraced by the community,” said Brian Ferriso, the director of the Portland Art Museum. “I think people will really respond to the architecture, which will elevate the status of the museum and people’s interest in it.”

Portland Art Museum Director Brian Ferriso, October 7, 2016 (KOIN)
Portland Art Museum Director Brian Ferriso, October 7, 2016 (KOIN)

“I think people will really respond to the architecture, which will elevate the status of the museum and people’s interest in it,” Ferriso said.

Ferriso said the expansion will connect “the art so people can see the art in a more seamless way” and added it will be “much more educational and help a great deal.”

But it won’t happen overnight.

Ferriso said they’re about halfway to raising the $50 million needed for this expansion

With the higher status, the museum hopes to attract more exhibits like the Andy Warhol exhibit, which opens Saturday.

“I think the main impetus is that we’ve changed our program here at the museum and the program,” Ferriso said. “It’s about connection to the community.”

A rendering of the expansion with the Rothko Pavillion at the Portland Art Museum, October 7, 2016
A rendering of the expansion with the Rothko Pavillion at the Portland Art Museum, October 7, 2016