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Embracing Art and Community: Trout Museum of Art’s Exciting Journey to a New Home

For over six decades, the Trout Museum of Art (TMA) has been a pillar in the visual arts, shaping cultural experiences and fostering creativity in the Fox Cities community.

Now, as it begins a new journey, TMA is set to redefine its future with the construction of a new state-of-the-art facility and community space.

TMA is a home for art enthusiasts, providing a place for exhibition, program and educational opportunities. However, recognizing the need for growth, the museum’s staff and Board of Directors began a search for a new site in 2022. The objective was clear – to build a facility that not only houses artwork, but also serves as a vibrant community space, promoting art education and engagement. The search for the perfect location led TMA to expand on its existing relationship with Lawrence University, another foundational institution in Appleton. This collaboration marks a significant step forward, combining the strengths of two organizations dedicated to enriching the cultural framework of the community.

Rendering of proposed building

The building will be located at the southeast section of the 300 E. College Ave. It is being designed by Frederick Fisher and Partners in Los Angeles in partnership with the Boldt Corp. and fuses downtown Appleton with the edge of Lawrence University’s campus. The jointly owned building will house TMA on the 30,000-square-foot ground floor with Lawrence on the upper three floors.

Set for completion in late 2025, the building’s three gallery wings will enable flexibility in programming for short- and long-term exhibitions. The open gathering space and lecture areas welcome events and engagement programs. The indoor and outdoor classrooms, as well as artist in residency studios, provide modern space for learning and artistic development. Merging sustainable and programming considerations, sprawling windows are thoughtfully worked into the welcome center, café, store and classrooms, bringing about a deeper connection with the larger downtown community.

What makes this project truly special is the overwhelming support from community members and
organizations like the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region. As TMA embarks on this exciting journey, it does so with the backing of those who recognize that art enriches everyone’s lives. The museum’s commitment to inclusivity is mirrored in its efforts to create a space where everyone, regardless of background, age, or level of interest in art, can engage with and appreciate the transformative power of art.

The Trout Museum of Art’s new era symbolizes more than just a physical expansion. It represents a commitment to the community, a dedication to artistic enrichment and a shared vision for a future where art is accessible to all. To stay informed on TMA and all of its building news, please visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn at @TroutMuseumofArt.

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