The Cafesjian Art Trust is opening a new museum in Shoreview this fall that will feature the world-class private art collection of art lover and philanthropist Gerard Cafesjian.
Containing nearly 3,000 pieces of workshop glass sculptures and contemporary artworks, the collection includes glass pieces by Dale Chihuly, Toots Zynsky, Stansilav Linensky, Jaroslava Brychtova and contemporary artworks by Arshile Gorky, Victor Vasarely, Georges Braque and many other world famous artists.
The CAT Museum is run by Kathie Cafesjian Baradaran, trustee of the Cafesjian Art Trust, whose father owned the collection, and Andy Schlauch, the former executive director of the Chihuly Collections in St. Petersburg, Florida, who serves as executive director. of the CAT. .
Shoreview ended up being the perfect location for the new museum, according to Schlauch and Baradaran, who grew up in the area and also went to school in Roseville. The building, a former engineering firm, already had everything they needed: a warehouse, offices and, as a bonus, exhibition space. In a way, it was fate, and it’s like his dad’s collection is coming home.
“It’s really exciting and it took time,” Baradaran said. “[My father] lived in Shoreview for many years. So I think he would be really happy about that.
The plan is that the museum landscape will be designed so that it is an extension of the museum, according to Schluach. Site renovations include a new parking lot, native plantings and a 1,000 square foot garden. The carvings seated figures by Lynn Chadwick and The Glassinator by Andrew Carson will be permanent outdoor installations at the museum.
The couple hope the new museum will be a place that showcases the artistry of studio glass, showcasing how form appears in sculpture and not just decorative works.
“It’s really nice to have a destination for people in the Shoreview area,” added Schlauch. “There is something creative and interesting about contemporary art and glass art pieces that people can easily access.”
The first two exhibitions will highlight the collection that Baradaran’s father spent years perfecting before his passing in 2013. The inaugural exhibition will feature the works of Dale Chihuly, highlighting the 30-year friendship between Chihuly and Gerard Cafesjian and his influence on Cafesjian. collections. The second exhibition, “Highlights of the Cafesjian Art Trust,” will showcase the collection in its entirety, showcasing the wide range of pieces Cafesjian has collected over the years.
“We wanted to create a show that would welcome people right from the start,” Schlauch said.
In addition to the shows, the couple hope the museum will become a place where people can come and experience and appreciate glass sculpture and contemporary art, hosting groups of children and visits to nursing homes, making a place for romantic rendezvous, by organizing “cocktail parties” for the collection, or even courses with the artists themselves.
4600 Churchill Street, Shoreview