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November 10, 2022

$18M Paul J. Schupf Art Center in Waterville set to open Dec. 17

Waterville Creates The design includes an enclosed glass skywalk that connects the center with the historic 800-seat Waterville Opera House.

Waterville's long-awaited Paul J. Schupf Art Center — an $18 million project several years in the making — is set to open on Dec. 17.

The Paul J. Schupf Art Center, which is a partnership between Colby College and Waterville Creates, is expected to be a hub for Waterville's visual and performing arts, arts education and film.

The Schupf Art Center, which is a 32,000 square feet, will serve as the headquarters of Waterville Creates. It will also include the Colby College Museum of Art's Joan Dignam Schmaltz Gallery of Art.

Year-round film, visual and performing arts programming will be offered through three divisions: the Maine Film Center, Ticonic Gallery + Studios and the Waterville Opera House. Waterville Creates’ annual Joy to the Ville will be the first in a series to help celebrate the opening of Schupf Arts.

The project was done by Susan T Rodriguez | Architecture Design of New York City in collaboration with OPAL / Architecture Research Design of Belfast. The general contractor was Landry/French Construction of Scarborough.

"We are so excited to welcome the community to our new home in the Paul J. Schupf Art Center," said Waterville Creates President and CEO Shannon Haines. "Joy to the Ville is a beloved community event and the perfect opportunity to invite people of all ages to explore our new space."

The "Joy to the Ville" festivities will include a variety of free arts activities throughout the new building, along with free art lunchboxes, luminary art kits, rolling art cart activities, and refreshments, including Maine Film Center popcorn and Bixby's Chocolate Cafe, will be available all day.  

Other exhibitions will be on view all day: "Light on Main Street" at the Joan Dignam Schmaltz Gallery of Art, "Common Threads" at Ticonic Gallery, Karina Steele's site-specific installation in the Maine Film Center lobby, and a display of costumes from the Waterville Opera House.

Paul J. Schupf in 2019 died at the age of 82. An art collector, business leader and Colby College trustee, Schupf made several donations to Colby College that supported the arts and sciences, including to the downtown arts center named in his honor. 

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