ABINGDON, Va. — Betsy White praised her staff, construction officials and a long list of donors at Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting for the Art Lab at the William King Museum of Art.
“This is the museum’s new education center. And it really is a bright, bright beacon for the future,” said White, executive director of the museum.
The Art Lab is also part of a master plan for expanding the Abingdon art institution.
“This is just a second step on the way to finishing our campus,” White said. “We intend to redo our entire campus over the next 18 months.”
Partially open since earlier this summer, the Art Lab features classrooms for children and adults plus artist studios in a brick building constructed as an addition to the old William King High School — what is now the William King Museum of Art.
“This is a place where creativity connects all of us,” said Laken Bridges, the museum’s director of higher education and adult learning. “And we look forward to supporting the community and our region through classes and workshops.”
For years, the Art Lab building was used as a meeting space for the Washington County Board of Supervisors.
This year, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, construction continued on the project.
“It’s a wonderful building that started its life as an education space,” White said. “So, now, it’s another education space — one that is really very futuristic as well as something for the present.”
State Del. Israel O’Quinn, R-Bristol, praised the staff of the art center and the project for “repurposing of a good but slightly run-down building that now has a new life.”
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