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More space, more video art: Here's what you'll find at the new Arlington Museum of Art

Visitors to the 360-degree digital display in “Pompeii: The Immortal City.”
Tempora
Visitors to the 360-degree digital display in “Pompeii: The Immortal City.”

With 42,000 square feet of galleries, the new Arlington Museum of Art has seven times the space it previously had. Its earlier home was an aging, former Sears outlet in downtown Arlington. The new digs are at the city’s former convention center, which now also houses the Esports Stadium Arlington at 1200 Ballpark Way.

“What people know of the Arlington Museum of Art – basically, you can just throw that away because this is a whole new museum,” said Chris Hightower, the museum’s president and CEO.

The new quarters mean the museum is part of the town’s entertainment district, not far from Six Flags Over Texas, the major sports stadiums and what will be the National Medal of Honor Museum.

from "Pompeii: The Immortal City" -- House of the Faun

The new facility features one gallery for community shows and emerging artists, plus a traditional gallery. That’s where the museum has opened the traveling show, “Pompeii: The Immortal City,” which features more than 100 artifacts, re-creations and digital projections about the Roman city destroyed – and preserved – by a volcanic eruption in 79 A.D.

There is also a sizable third space dedicated solely to immersive artworks. Such a gallery is rare for a North Texas art museum.

With all of that new space and the chance to draw crowds of out-of-towners, the museum is clearly reshaping its public presence and its artistic direction.

The immersive gallery opened with “One Point Five Degrees,” a collection of room-sized digital environments (the title comes from an intergovernmental report on climate change) by two artists.

The entrance to the Arlington Museum of Art’s new home at 1200 Ballpark Way. It was part of the city’s former convention center, which the museum now shares with Esports Stadium. Phase 2 for the museum’s new facility will include a new facade.
Jerome Weeks
/
KERA News
The entrance to the Arlington Museum of Art’s new home at 1200 Ballpark Way. It was part of the city’s former convention center, which the museum now shares with Esports Stadium. Phase 2 for the museum’s new facility will include a new facade.

Adam Fung, a Fort Worth-based artist and Texas Christian University professor, typically works in paint. But he’s often addressed the environment, and for this work, fathom, he used his 2023 artist residency in the Arctic to create a drone video installation.

In contrast to the wintry landscape in fathom, Floralia, by Canadian artist Sabrina Ratté, presents a lush, layered experience via a 13-channel, hi-def animated video environment and sound design.

“We now have three exhibition spaces that people can visit at any time. So it's a much larger, totally new experience,” Hightower said.

An image from "Floralia," by Sabrina Ratté, a 13-channel, room-size immersive artwork in the Arlington Museum of Art’s new home.
Jerome Weeks
/
KERA News
An image from "Floralia," by Sabrina Ratté, a 13-channel, room-size immersive artwork in the Arlington Museum of Art’s new home.

Remodeling part of the old convention center and moving in was Phase 1 of the Arlington museum’s upgrade, costing $2.9 million. In Phase 2, the museum will get a new facade and a redesigned central corridor, which it shares with Esports Stadium.

  • "Pompeii: The Immortal City" and "One Point Five Degrees," March 30-June 23, at the Arlington Museum of Art, 1200 Ballpark Way, Arlington

Got a tip? Email Jerome Weeks at jweeks@kera.org. You can follow him on X (Twitter) @dazeandweex.

Art&Seek is made possible through the generosity of our members. If you find this reporting valuable, consider making a tax-deductible gift today. Thank you.

 Arts Access is an arts journalism collaboration powered by The Dallas Morning News and KERA.

This community-funded journalism initiative is funded by the Better Together Fund, Carol & Don Glendenning, City of Dallas OAC, Communities Foundation of Texas, The Dallas Foundation, Eugene McDermott Foundation, James & Gayle Halperin Foundation, Jennifer & Peter Altabef and The Meadows Foundation. The News and KERA retain full editorial control of Arts Access’ journalism.

 

 

Jerome Weeks is the Art&Seek producer-reporter for KERA. A professional critic for more than two decades, he was the book columnist for The Dallas Morning News for ten years and the paper’s theater critic for ten years before that. His writing has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, American Theatre and Men’s Vogue magazines.