Southeastern Community College’s (SCC) art collection has expanded significantly since 2010; yet, the campus had no permanent exhibit or storage space for their most valuable pieces. As part of a campus realignment plan, Klingner worked with the Director of Physical Plant, VP of Administrative Services, and representatives from the Art Department to design the Murray Art Gallery — a highly customizable gallery that can securely showcase and house the college’s collection.
The transformation of this former art studio and classroom began with the removal of the ceiling and all non-load-bearing walls to open the space. Lining the perimeter of the room is a series of “floating” walls that mimic the look of blank hanging canvases — an effect created by a recessed black baseboard that conceals power access. Four sliding wall panels that are suspended above the floor can be separated, combined, or moved in front of the permanent walls depending on need. Art can also be displayed on three hinged rotating walls that can be folded flat or used to add dimension to the space. Digital art displays are facilitated by wireless access, power connections from an overhead track grid, and a projector screen. The gallery also features a work room, hidden by partitions, for touch up, display preparation, and food staging, as well as a secure, climate-controlled storage vault.
For accurate color representation and flexibility, a series of movable LED lights with a color index of over 90 were installed from a track grid in the ceiling. Each track has its own dimmer switch to allow varying light levels. Natural light levels are controlled by room darkening shades, giving SCC the option to eliminate additional light or allow patrons to view sculptures in the courtyard below.
The entrance hallway was converted into additional display space for student art.