The City Hall complex will get a major shot in the cultural arm in 2014 as the Surprise City Council approved a proposal Tuesday to have the West Valley Arts Council develop gallery exhibits and art performances in a currently vacant structure adjacent to City Hall.
“WVAC will bring a new dynamic to underutilized space with programmed shows and constantly changing exhibits,” said Mayor Sharon Wolcott. “The arts have a prominent new home in Surprise. It’s an important day.”
WVAC will utilize 2,500 square feet directly north of City Hall, next to the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce, 16126 N. Civic Center Plaza. The city-owned space previously housed the Heard Museum West, which closed 3 years ago.
“It’s the perfect location and the right time,” said District 6 Council member Skip Hall. “The arts have matured in Surprise and WVAC has done a great job uniting the West Valley arts community.”
“Surprise is now positioned to be the center of the arts scene in the West Valley,” said Vice Mayor Jim Biundo. “It’s a “ground floor” moment and the Council and WVAC have seized that moment.”
“We’re grateful and excited by the opportunity to ramp up the profile of art in our community by reaching more people with a greater variety of art,” said WVAC Executive Direct Bernadette Mills. “I think you will see everything from performing art to curated exhibits to traveling shows, and we plan to take advantage of the location to host outdoor art shows and concerts.”
Council approved $74,000 from contingency funds in the current budget to cover the cost of refurbishing the space into a gallery-style setting.
Mills says she expects to open by late spring. Mills says WVAC will maintain its present location in the Marley Park residential community in Surprise while operating the new gallery space.