The nonproﬁt boasts both a long history and a bright future.
When the late Bill Kimball opened the Kimball Art Center in 1976, he had humble hopes it would become a place for creatives in the community to gather, ﬁnd inspiration and celebrate art.
Back then, the art center was located in a dilapidated building that was once the town’s garage and body shop and before that a stable. Despite being more appropriate for vehicles and horses, Kimball Art Center made the building its home for almost 40 years.
As the town, and the need to connect through art grew, the Kimball outgrew its home. As such, in 2011 Kimball Art Center’s governing board attempted to redesign the existing space on Main Street to better fi t the organization’s needs. Ultimately however, historical building codes proved too cumbersome for the creative vision to be executed on the same site. As a result, the Kimball moved to its current location on Kearns Boulevard —yet another space never intended to showcase artwork, host events or act as an art education center.
“We’ve made it work, but it’s never been ideal,” explained Jory Macomber, Kimball Art Center’s executive director. “We host over 300 art classes, numerous community events, and offer more than ten free exhibitions each year for our community in very limited space.”
In 2017, when the city council moved to create a dedicated arts and culture district, the Kimball Art Center’s governing board was excited to get on board.
“We readily agreed to be an anchor tenant in the new district and look forward to building a welcoming, dynamic and exciting art center,”Jory added.
The first step in that process is complete. In July Kimball Art Center’s governing board voted unanimously to hire the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) to design its new space. “BIG is the firm originally chosen to redesign the Kimball’s building on Main Street. As we know, that didn’t pan out. But it also didn’t stop them. BIG has a long history with the Kimball and deep understanding of our current and future programming needs. And despite the fi rm’s rapid growth and international acclaim, BIG has a soft spot for Park City and the Kimball and has a strong desire to fi nish what it started,” said Jory.
While there are a number of moving parts, Kimball Art Center’s board hopes the new building in the arts and culture district will open in the next four years. A transportation hub, parking garage, residences and a new home for the Sundance Institute, are all part of the master plan.
Jory said the Kimball is currently studying arts districts in comparable towns, gathering community feedback and conducting programming studies to better understand the wants and needs of those it serves.
Visit KimballArtCenter.org for updates on the facility and its plans.
By Amy Roberts