The Dennos Museum Center at Northwestern Michigan College completed and opened a major 15,000 sq. ft. expansion to its existing 40,000 sq. ft. building in January 2018.
The expansion greatly enhanced the Dennos facility and the visitor experience in several ways.
For those of you in the performing arts you know the importance of support space behind the stage. When originally built, the Milliken Auditorium of the Dennos had only limited storage and loading dock space. The expansion corrected that with 2,000 sq. ft. added for instrument storage and receiving. At the same time a 1,600 sq. ft. multi-purpose room with direct access the stage offers instructional space for NMC’s Music Tech program and serves as a large dressing room when needed along with the existing dressing rooms. This behind the scenes space greatly enhances an already outstanding concert hall.
On the museum side of the operation the renovation of existing space has given the museum store badly needed storage and staff space.
The greatest impact for our visitors is the addition of 10,000 sq. ft. of gallery and storage space to show the museum’s growing permanent art collections.
The Dennos holds what we believe is the largest public collection of art by the Inuit peoples of the Canadian Arctic, comprised of over 1,600 works of sculpture and prints. This collection had more than tripled in size from the day the museum opened in 1991. A 2,400 sq. ft. expansion for this renowned collection provides for expanded storage for the art and a doubling of the exhibition gallery space to showcase and interpret the collection.
The largest part of the expansion is for the exhibition of the museum’s permanent art collection (non-Inuit) containing over a 1,000 works by artists of regional, national and international stature. The 8,600 sq.ft. expansion provides for dramatic new galleries showcasing selected works from this growing collection in all media. The 18 ft. high gallery walls are wrapped on the north and south sides of the expansion with floor to ceiling glass exterior walls bringing the surrounding College campus into the building dramatically changing the visitor experience at the Dennos.
In addition to being able to make part of our permanent collection always available to the public, it is now also accessible to the faculty of NMC throughout the semester. As such it is now possible for faculty to use the collection as a teaching resource with their students be it a studio art, creative writing or even a nursing class learning observational techniques.
The Dennos expansion has received high praise from visitors and museum professionals alike. We invite you to visit us any time of the year.