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The Nevada Museum of Art
Rachel Jackson/Nevada Sagebrush
The Nevada Museum of Art located on Liberty Street in Reno, Nev. The museum will be receiving a renovation and granted university students free admission.

The Nevada Museum of Art is undergoing a $60 million expansion project to include 50,000 additional square feet for gallery, education, and other specialized spaces. While the museum has offered free admission to high school students in Nevada for about a decade, beginning in September 2022 students from the University of Nevada, Reno and Truckee Meadows Community College can also enjoy free admission to the Nevada museum of Art.

Taylor Hunt, a University of Nevada, Reno art history major and employee of the museum,  provided insight to the museum’s recent developments to admissions, renovation, and expansion plans. 

“A generous donation was given to UNR and TMCC students which allows them to take advantage of the museum’s resources. The museum advocates for higher education and a commitment to the arts, education, and culture, so this is the perfect place for students to come and broaden their studies and creativity,” Hunt said.

The Free Student Admission program was made possible by the Wayne L. Prim Free Student Admission Endowment, a $2 million dollar gift which will enable the program to exist in perpetuity.

To receive free admission college students must show their student identification card at the front desk. In addition to gaining free access to the galleries, students can also attend Art Bite talks hosted on Fridays at noon and every first Thursday of the month where singers and songwriters are showcased from 5 to 7 p.m..

Rebecca Eckland, Director of Communications and Marketing for the Nevada museum of Art, explained the expansion project, which will occur on the south side of the building, was announced in May 2022, and entered its third phase in August of this year.

“The museum has a long history of supporting arts education in the state of Nevada.. We wanted to expand that program to offer free access to the museum to UNR and TMCC students so they can experience a world-class museum that is right here in Reno,” Eckland said.

As a result of the expansion project, the overall exhibition space will increase from 15,000 to nearly 30,000 square feet for the ongoing display of the permanent art, archive, and library collections. A dedicated art and architecture bookshop, a rooftop sculpture garden with mountain and skyline views and additional classroom and education spaces for school tours are all a part of what museum visitors can look forward to when the expansion is complete.

Hunt mentioned she is excited for an increase of school field trips and tours. With the museum’s expanded capacity and infrastructure, the institution will be able to welcome more than 12 thousand K-12 students annually, doubling its current capacity.

 “This almost doubled capacity is really special because it allows for students to have the space to learn and become more familiar with art,” Hunt said.

The Center for Art + Environment,  the museum’s research hub, will be expanded to grant additional access to its extensive art, archive and library collections.

The multi-phased expansion project is already showing visible progress on the Northwest corner of the museum through the renovation of the Wilbur D. May Sculpture Plaza. The space now features an installation titled “Monument to Sharing,” the creation of the Fallen Fruit Collective, composed of artists David Allen Burns and Austin Young. Monument to Sharing includes twenty-one fruit-bearing trees, a berry patch and a series of edible pollinators the public is welcome to harvest, inviting guests to explore ideas of generosity, agricultural production and the meaning behind the word community.

While the expansion project will not be complete until 2025, the museum will continue a full schedule of exhibitions and programs due to the endowment. 

Madison Wanco can be reached via email at or via Twitter @NevadaSagebrush. 

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