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Carnegie Arts Center: Readers' Choice for art gallery

Carnegie Arts Center: Readers' Choice for art gallery

Carnegie curator Rebecca Phillips Abbott stands before one of her favorite paintings, “Before the Race,” by Edgar Degas and Auguste Clot, c. 1895.

POSTED January 2, 2013 12:22 p.m.

It's been just over one year since Turlock's Carnegie Arts Center rose from the ashes of a fire in 2005 that left it in ruins.

Since its September 2011 reopening, the center has housed world-famous exhibits — like the inaugural “Ansel Adams CALIFORNIA” show — and featured regional works through its Distinguished Artist program.

The center has been a place of learning and exploration for area students through a grant from the Manteca-based Watermill Express. The business paid transportation costs for students from around the region to visit the Turlock arts center — and receive a souvenir postcard. Schools from as far away as Lodi, Merced and Sonora visited the  Ansel Adams last fall.

The Carnegie is also home to a variety of art classes and performance troupes for young and old, and the center is a downtown venue for special occasions.

The building itself has been recognized for its innovative design. The Carnegie received an Award of Merit from the San Joaquin Valley Policy Council for historic revitalization.

The newly built Carnegie features gallery and retail spaces, a multi-use facility, classrooms, and an open-air plaza, patio and stage. The design also incorporates some of the salvaged material from the original structure.

The original Carnegie building was opened in 1916 and served for decades as the town’s library. It was one of a thousand structures built by funds donated by steel magnate Andrew Carnegie. In 1982 it was established as the city’s art center and was undergoing some minor renovations in 2005 when it was set ablaze by two burglars trying to cover up their theft of computers and other items from the site.

Beginning the New Year, the Carnegie will be hosting an exhibit featuring Turlock area sculptor John Barnett.  “John Barnett, Then and Again: Distinguished Artist 2013” begins Jan. 30 and ends April 14.

The Carnegie Arts Center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday and is located at 250 N. Broadway, Turlock. Admission is $10 for adults and children under 12 are admitted free. For more information on upcoming programs, visit

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