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March 14, 2018

Waterville arts hub renovation gets $2 million boost from Colby benefactor

Image / Colby College A rendering of the proposed interior for the 93 Main St. arts hub in Waterville. Colby College Museum of Art will have a contemporary art gallery on the ground floor.

WATERVILLE — The Colby College Museum of Art’s plan for expansion into an arts hub planned for 93 Main St. has been boosted by a $2 million donation from Paul J. Schupf.

Schupf, who owns a private investment firm in Hamilton, N.Y., is a former trustee of the college.

The gallery will be named for Schupf, and located on the ground level of the downtown building, which bordes Castonguay Square. It will feature feature a rotating program of contemporary art exhibitions and gallery events, the college said in a news release.

College officials said the contemporary art gallery will be a vital part of the new arts hub, and a “front door” to the Colby College Museum of Art, which has more than 9,000 works and is housed on campus.

Plans are to extensively renovate the building, owned by arts organization Waterville Creates!. It will also be home to the Maine Film Center, which hosts the 10-day Maine International Film Festival in July, as well as a cafe, Common Street Arts gallery, and multi-purpose arts education sites. The project, expected to cost $18 to $20 million, is still in the planning stages.

Schupf, who is an emeritus member of the Colby College Museum of Art’s board of governors and was a college trustee, has made several contributions to Colby, making possible the Paul J. Schupf Wing for the Works of Alex Katz and the Paul J. Schupf Sculpture Court at the Colby College Museum of Art; the Paul J. Schupf Scientific Computing Center; the Anthony-Mitchell-Schupf residence hall; and the Colby College-Memorial Sloan Kettering Summer Internship, the college said.

He is also “a serious collector,” who has donated art, including significant works by Alex Katz and a major gift of more than 150 works on paper by Richard Serra, according to the college.

“Starting in 1985 with President Bill Cotter and museum director Hugh J. Gourley III, I became entranced by the wonderful, adventurous Colby College Museum of Art," said Schupf in the news release. "When [Colby President] David Greene discussed with me the possibility of creating a gallery in Waterville, I jumped onboard immediately. The donation of the Paul J. Schupf gallery for contemporary art in downtown Waterville is just another manifestation of my admiration for the College and its museum.”

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