WARREN - The director of Trumbull Art Gallery said Sunday that excitement and anticipation are building as the facility prepares to open at its new location downtown across from Courthouse Square.
"There's more space here, and we really expect to have a lot of walk in traffic since we are so close to the court house," Pat Galgozy said. "We've been looking forward to the move, and we're looking forward to opening back up at this new site."
On Sunday, the gallery sponsored Artoberfest in the Rough. The event gave people a first glimpse at TAG's new home, which is, as the name says, still a little bit rough as renovations are ongoing.
At least 250 people made their way to the new location at 160 N. Park Ave., which is being renovated by volunteers. Galgozy said the goal is to have the work completed and the gallery open in December.
She said the board opted to move the gallery from its location at 198 E. Market St. after 10 years because the board wasn't able to negotiate a new rental agreement with the property owner.
"The new space became available and we're very excited about that. We'll have a lot more room for displays, a larger gift shop, just a lot more room to move. It's a very nice layout as well," she said.
The new building will also provide additional space for classrooms, handicap accessible bathrooms and a space that can be used for lectures, performances and events with seating for about 60 people.
On Sunday, area artists Aaron Chine and Thad Minnick created a temporary mural on the building's walls.
"We're very happy with how the renovations are going and how everything is working out," remarked board member Veronique Gerard, who is also gift shop chairman. "I think it will be wonderful when it's all done."
The estimated cost of the renovation is between $80,000 and $100,000. Board member Paul Clouser, who owns National Fire and Water Repair, has much of the equipment needed for the project, and his resources and expertise are making it cheaper than it would be otherwise.
TAG is also applying for grants, approaching local foundations and engaging in its own fundraising campaign. The gallery is also looking to apply for a loan through Warren Redevelopment and Planning if those efforts fall short.
Pat McLean, a TAG supporter, said she was pleased to see the new site closeup and the progress.
"This is a fantastic place. I'm looking forward to seeing it when it's finished. I think it will be wonderful," she said.