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The Utah Museum of Fine Arts will close Jan. 18, 2016, for building upgrades.

By Mindy Wilson, public relations and marketing director, Utah Museum of Fine Arts

The University of Utah’s award-winning fine arts museum, home to nearly 20,000 works of art from 5,000 years of human creativity, will close temporarily in 2016 for remodeling and reinstallation.

The Utah Museum of Fine Arts closes Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, to begin installing a state-of-the-art vapor barrier in the Marcia and John Price Museum Building. The new system will more efficiently and effectively maintain the optimal humidity level for art objects and extend the life of the building, an architecturally significant structure in its own right. The Museum Café and the Katherine W. and Ezekiel R. Dumke Jr. Auditorium may reopen by June 2016, with the remainder of the building expected to reopen in spring 2017.

The museum will kick off the project with a free weekend-long Long Live Art! celebration Saturday, Jan. 16 and Sunday, Jan. 17, — the public’s last opportunity to visit the galleries, store and cafe before the building closes.

Museum staff will be busy during the temporary closure remodeling gallery spaces, reinventing most permanent exhibitions and reimagining other aspects of museum operations and the visitor experience.

“Our goal is to engage our visitors—especially our campus colleagues and students—in ever more meaningful ways,” said Executive Director Gretchen Dietrich. “I’m genuinely excited about the work ahead and I look forward to welcoming everyone back to the UMFA in 2017.”

While the exhibition program is paused, the UMFA will continue to host its popular Third Saturday for Families monthly art-making activity and all educational outreach to K-12 teachers and students statewide. The museum will also launch a new program, “ARTLandish: Land Art, Landscape, and the Environment,” a year-long collaboration with the J. Willard Marriott Library and the College of Fine Arts featuring lectures, films, panel discussions and tours that investigate our complex relationship with the world around us.

For the next few weeks, faculty, staff and students can take advantage of free admission to experience two nationally acclaimed exhibitions currently on view: “The British Passion for Landscape: Masterpieces from National Museum Wales,” through Dec. 13, and “Brian Bress: Make Your Own Friends,” through Jan. 10.

Click here for additional details about the UMFA’s building upgrade project. For updates and news, subscribe to the museum’s e-newsletter or follow the UMFA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.