The $18 million Paul J. Schupf Art Center in Waterville is set to open Dec. 17

The highly anticipated Paul J. Schupf Art Center in Waterville, an $18 million project that has been in the works for several years, is set to open Dec. 17.

he Paul J. Schupf Center for the Arts is expected to be a hub for visual and performing arts, arts education and filmmaking in Waterville.

The Schupf Art Center, which spans 32,000 square feet, will serve as headquarters for Waterville Creates. It will also include the Joan Dignam Schmaltz Art Gallery at the Colby College Museum of Art.

Year-round film, visual and performing arts programming will be offered by three divisions: Maine Film Center, Ticonic Gallery + Studios and Waterville Opera House. Waterville Creates’ annual Joy to the City event will be the first in a series to celebrate the opening of Schupf Arts.

The project was directed by Susan T Rodriguez | Architecture Design of New York City in collaboration with OPAL / Architecture Research Design of Belfast. The general contractor was Landry/French Construction of Scarborough.

“We are thrilled to welcome the community to our new home at the Paul J. Schupf Art Center,” said Waterville Creates President and CEO Shannon Haines. “Joy to the Ville is a beloved community event and the perfect opportunity to invite people of all ages to explore our new space.”

The “Joy to the Ville” festivities will include a variety of free art activities throughout the new building, as well as free art lunch boxes, light-up art kits, rolling art cart activities and refreshments, including Maine Film Center popcorn and Bixby’s Chocolate Cafe. be available all day.

Other exhibits will be on view throughout the day: “Light on Main Street” at the Joan Dignam Schmaltz Gallery of Art, “Common Threads” at the Ticonic Gallery, Karina Steele’s site-specific installation in the lobby of the Maine Film Center and a costume exhibition. of the Waterville Opera.

Paul J. Schupf died in 2019 at the age of 82. An art collector, business leader, and administrator of Colby College, Schupf made several donations to Colby College which supported the arts and sciences, including the downtown arts center named in his honor.