The factory-style gallery occupies a sweeping 5,400 square feet in the historic Tucson Warehouse District, directly between the Tucson Museum of Art, downtown and the University of Arizona Museum of Art on the U/A campus to the East.
Originally built in 1938 for a Packard car dealership, the space was remodeled according to a plan by long-time Rancho Linda Vista architect-in-residence Chuck Sternberg into what many consider the best art space in Arizona, in late 1998. It is favorably compared to the best New York Chelsea District galleries.
The gallery is entered by 6th Street, into the lobby which features a landing for a major sculpture, which in turn leads into the Main Gallery. This is a beautiful, open room with concrete floors, plain white walls and a perfectly preserved bow truss ceiling of clear fir wood (the elegant design of the trusses inspired the gallery logo).
The overall effect of the Main Gallery on visitors is expressed by the German phrase geborganheit which loosely translates into the comforting shelter of the arch. 4 large skylights bring enough filtered sunlight into the space that, on most nearly every day, equals or exceeds typical museum light levels.
A separate gallery in the west end of the building, the Salon Gallery, is used for solo exhibits, informal group shows such as gallery mix, and the popular annual summer event, The Small Works Invitational.
An unexpected architectural feature at the east end of the Main Gallery is “The Magic Wall,” a unique pivoting wall section that creates semi-private viewing of paintings directly from the storage racks.
The Alcove Gallery is a long semi-open space with its own lighting which is used for intimate viewing such as drawings, prints and small paintings.