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In New Orleans, Joan Mitchell Center Makes Its Debut

Doug MacCash reports in the Times Picayune that the Joan Mitchell Center, a $12.5 million artist retreat funded by Mitchell's foundation, made its debut this weekend in New Orleans. Architect Jonathan Tate designed the renovations to the existing historic buildings, which included a central 1790s mansion, a nearby restaurant converted into gallery space, and cottages converted to dormitories. The residency’s centerpiece—a $4 million, 8,000-square-foot building—is designed by architect Lee Ledbetter and Associates.

“With the Joan Mitchell Center you get this really unique opportunity to have this oasis with property and space, but to also be in the middle of where things are happening,” director Gia Hamilton said. “I think we’re finding that that’s what artists are really interested in.” By the end of 2015, twenty-one artists will have made visits, and in 2016, that number will have risen to seventy-six artists in total.

To cover costs, the Joan Mitchell Foundation sold one of the painter’s works at auction. “We don’t seek outside funding,” Hamilton said. “We are really privileged to be supported by the sales of Joan’s work, the endowment, and other assets.”

The artists for the center’s first full residency program were announced last month, as Artforum previously reported here.