Town officials want art museum - The Explorer: Pima Pinal

Town officials want art museum

Andrews to meet with Tucson Museum of Art, business leaders Friday

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Posted: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:02 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Oro Valley officials have begun officially courting the Tucson Museum of Art.

“We think that we’re in a real desirable location,” Oro Valley Town Manager David Andrews said Monday.

The museum has outgrown its downtown facility and is in search of a new space.

“We’re basically landlocked by historic properties,” said Robert Knight, executive director of the Tucson Museum of Art.

Last month, museum officials began informal talks about relocating to or opening a branch in Oro Valley or Marana.

Friday, Knight plans to meet with Oro Valley officials and local business leaders to discuss the possibility of the art museum moving to the town.

“We’re not trying to leverage,” Knight said of the museum’s ongoing negotiations with the city and county over a new location downtown.

But the museum does have space limitations and finding a long-term solution is a business decision it has to make.

“We have people that have large Western art and antiquities collections that are just waiting,” Knight said of the museum’s lack of space.

Andrews invited representatives from Ventana Medical Systems, Northwest Medical Center-Oro Valley, Diamond Ventures, the Greater Oro Valley Arts Council and others to parse the details about a move and the opportunity to raise funds to help the art museum move.

The museum seeks five acres to house its collections, Andrews said.

Town officials have tentatively identified six properties that could meet the museum’s needs.

Andrew’s said the properties are both private and public, but did not want to say where they are because no decisions have been made nor agreements with the museum reached.  

“It would be a real benefit to the private sector,” Andrews said.

The town manager said he would try to bring the matter before the town council in September, setting in motion a plan to bring the museum to Oro Valley.

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