Walton Arts Center to renovate Joy Pratt Markham Gallery

Walton Arts Center’s new Artosphere Arts & Nature festival is coming in May, and the Joy Pratt Markham Gallery located off the lobby of the facility will get a facelift to prepare for the visual arts portion of the festival.

Renovations to the 1800 square-foot gallery are already underway. The intention is to connect the gallery to the adjoining Rosen Memorial Rose Garden and Bradberry Amphitheater by creating an outdoor entrance to the gallery through the garden. Currently, visitors must enter the gallery through the main doors in the lobby.

Also included in the renovation plans are new maple hardwood flooring, and a new coat of paint for the walls and ceiling of the gallery to create a more conducive space for visual arts exhibitions.

“We are thrilled that Artosphere is giving us this opportunity to re-conceive both our garden space and Joy Pratt Markham Gallery,” said Terri Trotter, chief operating officer for Walton Arts Center. “By connecting the garden to the gallery, we can create a whole new space for events, receptions and exhibitions, and better utilize two beautiful areas of our campus.”

The renovations will prepare the space for a visual arts exhibition that will launch and run during the Artosphere Arts & Nature Festival. The exhibition, “Beyond Sublime: Changing Nature” is still in development, but will feature works of photography, painting, sculpture, and installation intended to connect viewers to the beauty and mystery of the environment in a way that challenges habitual perceptions and definitions.

“Artosphere is intended to connect artists and audiences in an exploration of the natural world, our place in it, and how we can live more sustainable lives,” Trotter said. “Our newly renovated gallery, connected to the beautiful garden, (will be) an exciting environment for those conversations.”