Apr 6, 2022

Late last month, UCI leadership revealed the site for the permanent home of Jack and Shanaz Langson Institute and Museum of California Art (Langson IMCA). The new building will be prominently positioned on the university’s North Campus property along Campus Drive near Jamboree Road. Intended to merge the built and natural environments through landscape, the facility will emphasize permeability between interior and exterior, and be positioned with views of the San Joaquin Marsh. The structure will also serve as a physical manifestation of Langson IMCA’s catalytic mission to engage the university with the larger world through California’s artistic innovation. It will be designed as a multi-faceted place for reflection, respite, learning, and gathering. And its location adjacent to UCI Health’s new medical center offers rich opportunities to investigate interactions among art, health, and wellness.

“We envision our new building as a dynamic crossroads and community hub that connects our campus and community constituents with the pioneering work of modern and contemporary artists who expressed their varied experiences of the State,” said Langson IMCA Museum Director Kim Kanatani. “From Franz Bischoff and William Wendt capturing their impressionist views of coastal and mountain vistas in the early 1900s to Larry Bell, Helen Pashgian, and Alexis Smith experimenting with new forms and materials in the 1970s and 80s, there is much to see and learn from the creative explorations of these artists and others, including UCI faculty, students, and alumni.”

The above image illustrates how a sample gallery in the new Langson IMCA building might appear, although actual design won’t take place for another year. UCI is preparing to hire an architectural programming consultant to determine the functions, scale, and size of the building, as well as cost estimates for design and construction. The university anticipates hiring a design architect in mid-2023 and breaking ground in late 2024 or early 2025.

Until the new building is open (likely late 2027 or early 2028), Langson IMCA invites the campus community to visit the museum’s interim space at 18881 Von Karman Avenue (which reopens on June 11, 2022 with a new exhibition, Variations of Place: Southern California Impressionism in the Early 20th Century) to view exhibitions and attend programs. Follow Langson IMCA on Instagram to see more of what comprises the permanent collection. Subscribe to the e-newsletter Monthly Muse to stay abreast of museum activities. And most of all, make engaging with art a routine habit.