AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin plans to unveil its new grounds and slate of programming with a grand opening celebration this spring.

The Blanton Museum of Art will celebrate the renovated space on Saturday, May 13 from 2-3 p.m., and it will include live music, guest speaker remarks and “activation of the primary outdoor gathering space, the Moody Patio,” per a release.

“We’re thrilled to invite the community to the party we’ve all been waiting for: the opening of a new gathering place for Austin that offers a different way to experience the Blanton,” Blanton Director Simone Wicha said in the release. “I cannot wait for visitors to stroll along the pathways; pass under the stunning shade canopy; explore the powerful, immersive new artworks; and enjoy performances on the Moody Patio’s outdoor stages.”

The renovated space was funded through contributions from the Moody Foundation, Sarah and Ernest Butler, the Still Water Foundation, the Kahng Foundation, Sally and Tom Dunning and others, the release added. The space was designed courtesy of Snøhetta architects and several artists, including Bill Fontana and the late Carmen Herrera.

New hours of operations, programming

Officials also announced new hours of operation: The museum will remain open until 8 p.m. on Saturdays and switch up its free admission days, hosting them on Tuesdays instead of Thursdays. Those new hours and operations will go into effect prior to the May 13 grand opening celebration.

The Blanton Museum of Art added it will launch Second Saturdays with the grand opening, a series of public programming that will feature special music, food and other amenities. That inaugural Second Saturday programming day will begin at 3 p.m. May 13, directly following the opening celebration, officials said.

New hours and special days will begin May 9 and are as follows:

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; free admission day
  • Wednesday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Thursday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Friday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Sunday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Come March 1, admission and membership fees will increase to $15 for regular adult admission and $75 for memberships. Blanton members are invited to a Member Garden Party to preview the new grounds May 3.

The Museum Store will reopen May 4 and operate during the new hours, while a new cafe is planned to open later in 2023.

Grounds opening celebration details

Those interested in attending the grounds opening celebration are asked to RSVP online. Anyone also interested in visiting the Blanton’s galleries and special exhibitions May 13 can purchase an admission ticket or show proof of a Blanton Member card, per the release.

Officials will release the museum’s full schedule of events and Second Saturdays programming online soon.

What new features, art will be on display at the Blanton?

Construction on the project began during the coronavirus pandemic, with a virtual groundbreaking event held in March 2021. New grounds features include a canopy of shade structures, paths lined by native plants and vaulted entryways leading into the Blanton’s two main buildings, per the release.

The museum will also include new immersive art installations, per the release. “Verde que te quiero verde” — or “Green How I Desire You Green” — is a public mural commission created by Cuban American artist Carmen Herrera. The piece runs along the western wall of the Mari and James A. Michener Gallery Building.

At the Butler Sound Gallery, sound artist Bill Fontana created recordings of Texas wildlife and geological structures over the duration of four seasons, per the release.

Two more art installations are set to be announced, with all four works unveiled at the Blanton’s 60th-anniversary event April 29.