Broad Art Museum Preview

By: Shannon Kantner
By: Shannon Kantner

The man whose name can be found on the outside of the museum, describes the inside best.

"Look at the drama of these galleries, and the way the art has been installed," Eli Broad said. "I think it's a triumph, it really is."

The 46,000 square-foot Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum was made possible from their $28 million gift. The inaugural exhibits show off contemporary art spanning centuries.

"I just hope the community will really come and enjoy," Broad Museum Director Michael Rush said. "Contemporary art can be difficult for some. It can be difficult for me. I just want people not to be shy."

From pottery to painting to panarama 3-D movies, there's a little something for everyone. Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon said she prefers the new media exhibits compared to the more traditional art.

"Video art, I think is extraordinary," Simon said. "It's something that you wouldn't typically find in East Lansing. And I think it's one of the things that our students are going to find surprising because their definition of art might be a little bit narrow in its view."

There's also an entire gallery dedicated to international videos, called "Global Groover 1973/2012," and another exhibit "In Search of Time" reflects artists' expressions of time and memory. Many feel the building itself is a work of art.

"It's great to have a building that's exciting, iconic, and one that's not only a local contemporary art museum, but one that is really global in nature," Broad said.

The museum's inaugural weekend already brought visitors from around the world, including Moscow, Iran, and New Jersey.

"It's a very high profile moment because of the building, and hopefully because of what's in the building too," Rush said. "We really want to be front and center of the international contemporary art discussion."

A recent study estimates up to 150,000 visitors will pump nearly $6 million into the local economy each year.

They said they chose the location right off of Grand River Ave. because the building will help the university grow as well.

"It's a great opportunity for the community and for the university," Simon said. "People will be coming back to East Lansing to not only see the building as it matures, but also to see the great exhibits."

Students are already looking forward to visiting.

"I walk past it everyday, so I'm glad that they're done building it, and I think it's going to be a cool thing to go visit on campus," MSU Senior Tom Wright said.

"My sister is an art sudent, so maybe I'll bring her down her to come see it," MSU Senior Sarah Lopresto said.

Of the projected visitors, 30,000 are expected to be first timers specifically here for the museum.

"We're hoping that people will enjoy, people will learn, people will see the power and the fun in contemporary art, and I hope that people will take great pride in this place as being part of the community," Rush said. "I mean, the world is paying attention right now."

The Broad partnered with several other art openings around the world this weekend, including China and Brazil.

It is open to the public Saturday, Nov. 10.


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