Museum director’s dream project about to open its doors

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Linny Frickman
Linny Frickman

Linny Frickman is getting ready to share her years-long labor of love with CSU and the Fort Collins community.

Frickman, the founding director of CSU’s first art museum in 2009, has long believed the community deserved a first-rate museum to display CSU’s many collections of artwork. In less than two weeks she will get to see her dream become reality when the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art at Colorado State University officially opens.

“A lot of us have been dreaming about this opening for a really long time,” said Frickman, who has been part of the Department of Art and Art History faculty since 1988. “We needed a space like this to serve our campus and community in the appropriate way that an art museum should. I think people will be very excited.”

Frickman said she offered a recent “sneak peek” tour to art faculty and grad students.

“One of the faculty members said, ‘I can’t believe this. I’m overwhelmed. I can’t believe this is in Fort Collins,’ ” Frickman said. “We are giving something to our campus and community that is very, very special.”

Ideal learning opportunity for students

Another recent preview – this one for an art class – was particularly gratifying. The space has been designed with students in mind, including space to store backpacks and even skateboards.

“When the class was in here I watched a colleague being able to teach from her laptop instead of using a bunch of equipment in a classroom,” Frickman said. “It made me realize how important it is to have these works of art here on campus, and how this museum will really serve our students well.”

Grand opening Sept. 10

The museum, part of the University Center for the Arts at 1400 Remington St., officially opens its doors to the public following a 1 p.m. Sept. 10 ribbon-cutting ceremony presided over by Fort Collins Mayor Wade Troxell. The event is open to the public and will feature previews of the galleries, giveaways for adults and children, and family-friendly activities until 4 p.m.

The catalyst for the 6,000 square foot expansion of the University Art Museum was the 2011 gift of the Hartford-Tandstad Collection of more than 200 works of art, including drawings, paintings, sculpture and decorative arts, primarily dating from the late Renaissance through the 19th century. Inspired by the gift, a lead donation of more than $2 million toward the renovation project led to the renaming of the museum.

“The Hartford-Tandstad Collection was so important because it spurred the expansion,” Frickman said. “It gave us the type of works that we simply would not be able to collect. But the really exciting part is that, because of the expansion, we now have room to display our African and Native American collections. I love that we will be able to demonstrate a broad range of cultures.”

Amazing collections on display

New and remodeled spaces provide an exquisite display of the Harford-Tandstad collection throughout three galleries based on three themes: Global Encounters, Approaching Nature, and Dialogues With Power; a permanent showcase for the university’s extensive African and growing Native American collections; and room for rotating temporary exhibitions in the Griffin Foundation Gallery. The museum will also include both current and proposed educational programs in the Robert W. Hoffert Learning Center.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will include Martha Weidman of Nine dot ARTS, a Denver-based corporate art advisory firm, and Deanne Pytlinski, chair of the Department of Art at Metro State University. The two CSU alumni are members of the honorary alumni committee in charge of promoting the grand opening in the Denver area.

The museum will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The museum is closed Sundays and Mondays, as well as on university holidays and fall, winter and spring breaks. The museum, and its programs, are free and open to the public, as is the grand opening event.

Grand opening schedule

10 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Art and Art History Department Open House, Visual Arts Building, via Lake Street

11:30 p.m.: Food trucks available in the CSU Annual Flower Trial Gardens

1 – 4 p.m.: Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening, Gregory Allicar Museum of Art