CEDAR CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) A massive, one-of-a-kind art complex is opening up in Cedar City this summer.
The Beverley Center is expected to bring the art of the world to Cedar City with a new $39 million dollar facility for visual and performing arts.
“The Beverley Center for the Arts is an incredible feat for a small town like Cedar City,” Tiffiney Christiansen said, Southern Utah University.
“This is a sculpture that houses an art museum,” Reece Summers said.
Standing tall on Southern Utah University’s campus, several art facilities near completion, including the Southern Utah Museum of Art.
The architecture is an abstract concept of the natural environment, inspired by nearby slot canyons and the hills and valleys of Iron County.
Reece Summers is the director.
“I’m most excited to see the reaction of our visitors, the first time seeing this building,” Summers said.
The state-of-the-art facility that will be the permanent house for the last 16 works of famed Southern Utah landscape painter Jimmie Jones.
It is also designed to showcase traveling works while also featuring exhibits from permanent collections. SUU students will play a major role.
“The best way to learn is learning by doing,” Summers said.
Just east of the museum is one of two new theaters for the Utah Shakespeare Festival.
The Tony Award-winning theater company will launch eight new plays by October, with many in the new Engelstad Shakespeare Theater modeled after the playwrite’s centuries-old Globe Theatre.
“It really gives a sense of what it was like to see a performance in Shakespeare’s time and it improves upon it. It’s more comfortable, it’s better lit, better sound and a better theatrical experience overall,” Joshua Stavros said, Utah Shakespeare Festival.
The production team is staining the floor for the first of many performances. The center also boasts another new, more intimate theater with seating for 200.
“To bring something like this together didn’t just happen with one person having a dream, it had a lot of people from the community involved,” Christiansen said.
Since the 1990s, the Shakespeare Festival and the Southern Utah Museum of Art raised money separately without much luck, until SUU joined the projects. Nearly $40 million came from private donors, including a $6 million gift from the Sorenson Legacy Foundation.
“I’ve brought through people through these construction tours and I get the same reaction every time. Wow. They are just memorized that we can do something like this in such a small town,” Christiansen said.
“I think this will be a destination, I really do. People will come and spend a good portion of their vacation here, I hope,” Summers said.
The grand opening for The Beverley is slated for July 7. The Utah Shakespeare Festival will hit the ground running, debuting five plays in three days.