Community generosity makes Rauschenberg Gallery remodel a reality
Edison State College’s Lee Campus is home to the only art gallery outside of New York’s Guggenheim to bear the name of the great, Bob Rauschenberg, a longtime resident of Captiva.
This summer, The Rauschenberg Gallery at Edison State is getting a major upgrade spurred by the generosity of a community art enthusiast donor.
Edison State was surprised to learn a longtime gallery friend Mr. Donald McKee of Fort Myers left the gallery approximately $40,000 in his will.
While Mr. McKee’s health permitted he attended all the gallery openings, routinely purchased posters from previous exhibits and even purchased original work from artists in our shows, said Ron Bishop, Curator of The Rauschenberg Gallery at Edison State College.
“While I know Donald enjoyed the art and cultural events he attended, I think he was equally happy supporting local artist through his purchases,” he added.
The construction work includes upgrading to a new HVAC system which will give the gallery greater control over temps and humidity, both critical issues for any gallery or museum said Bishop. New track lighting will be installed to give greater control and flexibility to all of the lighting issues that can accompany exhibitions. Additionally the gallery floor will be leveled, sealed and resurfaced. Walls will be repainted and carpet will be replaced.
“This is a great step forward for the gallery and ultimately our students and the surrounding community,” said Bishop. “I’m thrilled to have the College’s ongoing support.”
The total cost for renovations will total approximately $250,000. Work will be completed throughout the summer months.
Edison State College is Southwest Florida’s largest, most established, most accessible and most affordable school of higher education serving more than 20,000 students in five counties with campuses in Lee, Collier and Charlotte, and a center serving Hendry/Glades. Many classes are available online at www.edison.edu.