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Nassau County Museum of Art opens $1.5M art and education center

A photograph of Boxwood Farm in Brookville, part

A photograph of Boxwood Farm in Brookville, part of an exhibit on landscape architecture inaugurating the Manes Center at the Nassau County Museum of Art. Credit: The Cultural Landscape Foundation / Richard Felber

Nassau County Museum of Art is opening the new $1.5 million Manes Family Art & Education Center on Thursday.

The 4,200-square-foot education and exhibition space — named for its lead donor and museum board member, Dr. Harvey Manes — sits on the 145-acre Roslyn Harbor campus.

It features a central exhibition space to showcase domestic and international contemporary art as well as a series of labs or learning spaces.

Among them will be a reading resource lab that will allow visitors to peruse a selection of art-related books and publications; a design tech lab where people can explore the connections between art, science and technology, and a hands-on studio lab that will offer activities related to the art on display.

“There are spaces for fine art and there are spaces for activities,” says manager Reem Hussein. “This combines it all in one place.”

The indoor and outdoor lab will host self-guided and guided activities intended to explore the connections between art and nature.

Museum director Karl E. Willers says the exhibitions will change every 15 weeks or so, amounting to six opening events between the Manes Center and the Arnold & Joan Saltzman Fine Art Building each year.

The inaugural show, “The New American Garden: The Landscape Architecture of Oehme, van Sweden” chronicles the contributions of Wolfgang Oehme and James van Sweden, who revolutionized landscape architecture. The exhibition features 52 contemporary and newly commissioned photographs of important residential, civic and commercial projects. It runs through Sept. 7.

The center will be open to visitors during regular museum hours, Tuesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. An initial free open house to the Manes Center does not include admission to the museum’s main building.

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