ALBANY, GA (WALB) - After damage from the January storms forced the Albany Museum of Art to close its doors, the museum is preparing to open them once again.
The January 2nd storm caused the museum to close due to extensive damage, but Paula Williams, AMA's Executive Director, said the museum is ready to go.
"It's great. It's almost better than what it was in January. We have a lot to be thankful for," said Williams.
The museum will debut with brand new walls, sheetrock, flooring, and a roof.
For the past seven months folks at the Albany Museum of Art have been working to re-open.
"It's very exciting that it's all coming together," said Williams.
After the January 2nd storm destroyed the museum, Williams said she wasn't sure what would happen.
"Once the shock wore off, we realized that we could come back and we had an opportunity to come back even stronger," said Williams.
But it wasn't cheap or easy to come back. Contractors installed a new roof, put in carpets and new lighting, totaling more than $1 million.
"It just makes me very proud in what the community has been able to do in working with us," explained Williams with a smile.
Throneteeska and the Riverquarium hosted some of the museum's activities with open arms in the past few months.
Members of the community also helped with cleanup and donations to get the museum back on it's feet.
"It was very emotional and amazing and gratifying to see that so many people were interested in the museum," said Williams.
Thursday's three exhibits feature Norman Rockwell, Abigail Heuss and Albany native Katie Bacon.
"I think this is probably one of my best and most exciting shows to date because this is my hometown," explained Bacon, who was at the museum early on Thursday morning. "All my art teachers are here and it's just really exciting. "
Bacon lives in New York City, but came to Albany for the weekend.
Williams said Thursday is exciting for her as well. She said the rebuilding has made her more aware of the impact the museum has in Dougherty County.
"So we know we definitely have a place here in Albany and we are really excited about what is going to happen to the museum in the future," said Williams.
The museum has announced it will be moving into downtown Albany.
Williams said it will likely be the old Belks building.
Still, it will be close to two years before that happens.
The Albany Museum of Art is hosting a "Grand Reopening Celebration" on Thursday.
From 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., museum members and VIPs will get the first look inside the renovated building.
Then, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., the museum will open to the public.
The museum is also hosting a couple of events this weekend.
A "Family Fun Day" is set to happen at the museum this Saturday, August 26th, from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.
Katie Baker, an NYC artist, will also be in Albany this weekend. She's set to host a "Mixed Media Workshop" on Saturday as well.
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