Culture News

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art Opening "SMoCA Lounge" in the Fall

​The long hot summertime is traditionally when many Valley establishments renovate and spruce things up for the fall, and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is no exception.

Plans are in the works for the stylish new SMoCA Lounge to open inside the museum on October 15, which will function as a combination education facility, event space,  and nightlife destination.

According to SMoCA spokesperson Lesley Oliver, the lounge will be built inside the Virginia Ullman Gallery, and will be a mixed-use facility where museum visitors and urbanites can attend such after-dark activities as cocktail mixers, poetry slams, or fashion events. Patrons of the adjacent Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts can linger after show for special meet-and-greets and autograph sessions with performers.

"It's going to be a very versatile space that can become a lounge one night or place for bands or other cool things," Oliver says.

During the daytime, SMoCA Lounge will serve as more of an education space for students and children to participate in art projects and crafts, or working with cutting edge technology. 

Museum director Tim Rodgers also stated that the lounge will enable the museum to "provide the community a wider selection of programs like international art movies, music, and art-making." 

The lounge's layout and decor is in the hands of Janis Leonard, interior designer of downtown's Hanny's and the mind behind avant-garde art installations at AZ88 (including her annual Christmas trees adorned with unique objects or greyhound statues studded with rhinestones). 

When asked what her vision for the space, Leonard writes, "The lounge has a dual personality; it represents both an inspiring educational piece that encourages interaction and play, and a transformative attainable sensuality." 

Oliver says that the designer has been meeting with museum staff all this week and is currently dreaming up the lounge's look.

"Janis does very clever contemporary things with unlikely objects in her designs, and that's one of the reasons why she was chosen," Oliver says. "Working with her has been a lot like when we're working with artists on installations that are specifically created for the museum."

The SMoCA Lounge is scheduled to open on October 15 at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 East Second Street in Scottsdale.

Follow Jackalope Ranch on Facebook and Twitter.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.

Latest Stories