Through the generosity of longtime supporter and great friend of Colby College Trustee Emeritus Paul J. Schupf, LL.D. ’06, the Colby College Museum of Art will expand into downtown Waterville, offering the community and visitors a chance to engage with spectacular works in a vibrant setting. The contemporary gallery will be named in his honor.
As part of the downtown arts complex announced earlier this week by Colby and Waterville Creates!, the Schupf gallery will be located in a transformed historical building at 93 Main Street. Located on the ground level, it will feature a rotating program of contemporary art exhibitions. Regularly scheduled gallery events will be held in the space.
“The Schupf gallery will be a vital part of the new center for contemporary art and film, which has been conceived to create a hub of activity on Main Street and cement Waterville’s place as a destination for the arts,” said Colby President David A. Greene. “Once again, Paul Schupf has given so generously to help make art accessible to the Waterville community and visitors from Maine and beyond. We are so fortunate to have his friendship and to benefit from his vision for institutions that serve the public good.”
Schupf, who is an emeritus member of the Colby College Museum of Art’s Board of Governors and served as a College trustee for many years, has made several significant contributions to Colby, making possible the Paul J. Schupf Wing for the Works of Alex Katz and the Paul J. Schupf Sculpture Court at the Colby College Museum of Art; the Paul J. Schupf Scientific Computing Center; the Anthony-Mitchell-Schupf residence hall; and the Colby College-Memorial Sloan Kettering Summer Internship. A serious collector, Schupf has also donated numerous works of art, including significant works by Alex Katz and a major gift of more than 150 works on paper by Richard Serra.
“Starting in 1985 with President Bill Cotter and museum director Hugh J. Gourley III, I became entranced by the wonderful, adventurous Colby College Museum of Art,” said Schupf. “When David Greene discussed with me the possibility of creating a gallery in Waterville, I jumped onboard immediately. The donation of the Paul J. Schupf gallery for contemporary art in downtown Waterville is just another manifestation of my admiration for the College and its museum.”
“Paul has been such a great friend to the Colby museum, and once again we are humbled by, and grateful for, his remarkable generosity,” said Sharon Corwin, the Carolyn Muzzy Director and Chief Curator of the museum. “We see this gallery as a front door to the Colby museum and an opportunity to integrate more deeply into our community, and Paul’s support makes that possible.”
On March 5 Colby and Waterville Creates! announced plans to transform the downtown building into a new center for contemporary art and film, making Waterville a singular destination for the arts in Maine. The project, which includes a significant fundraising effort, features new and renovated space to support leading programs in visual arts, theater, film, and arts education.
The larger complex will also include the Waterville Opera House, Common Street Arts, and the Maine Film Center and Railroad Square Cinema. It is expected to attract even more visitors to a newly vibrant Main Street, anchored by a planned hotel a block from Castonguay Square and the Bill and Joan Alfond Main Street Commons, housing 200 Colby students, faculty, and staff. A technology center at 173 Main Street, housing software consultant CGI, Colby employees, and a student business incubator, opened last fall.
Founded in 1959, the Colby College Museum of Art comprises five wings, more than 9,000 works of art, and more than 38,000 square feet of exhibition space. The museum also maintains a significant collection of contemporary American art, including works by Alex Katz (with more than 900 works represented), Agnes Martin, Sol LeWitt, Maya Lin, Kara Walker, Elizabeth Murray, Martin Puryear, Terry Winters, and Julie Mehretu. It is free and open to the public.