A Higher Profile, By Design

Ann McClure's picture

The Massachusetts College of Art and Design, the oldest public arts school in the country, is pursuing a $120 million expansion and redesign of its campus along Huntington Avenue, joining a slew of colleges and museums whose building projects are rapidly redefining Boston as a hub for contemporary art.

The college last night unveiled plans for a new design and media center and an overhaul of its public galleries, which, unbeknownst to many, house New England’s largest free exhibition of contemporary art.

The plans are part of an expansion meant to give MassArt a higher profile in a district where new buildings and museum wings are not only expanding the area’s art institutions, but filling the landscape with striking architecture.

The college has reached 90 percent of its fund-raising goal, with the help of a $30 million appropriation from Governor Deval Patrick’s administration.

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