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Chandler Museum opens Saturday with 'Awkward Family Photos' exhibition

Posted at 6:16 PM, Dec 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-06 20:16:42-05

The final touches are being placed on the newly-constructed Chandler Museum, which will officially open on Saturday, Dec. 8.

A dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony will happen at 9:30 a.m. The museum will be open until 7 p.m. View schedule.

The first two exhibitions: "Awkward Family Photos," which features more than 200 truly cringe-worthy family photos the website became famous for. There is even a staged living room with props to take your own awkward family photo....or holiday card for the procrastinators out there.

The other exhibition is "Gaman: Enduring Japanese American Internment at Gila River." The showcase "explores the experiences of more than 16,000 Japanese Americans who were forcibly removed from their west coast homes...and placed in the Gila River Internment Camps," a news release said. 

Opening Day Schedule:

  • 9:30 a.m. - Dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony
  • 1 p.m. - Lyndsey Fry, member of the 2014 United States women's national ice hockey team, and Chandler resident, will make a visit.
  • 3 p.m. - Green Day's bookmobile tour van will make an appearance at the museum.

The 10,000-square-foot building is three times larger than the museum's previous home: the historic 1938 McCullough-Price House, which is a mere feet from the new building. Both are located near Chandler Fashion Square off Chandler Village Drive.

Less than 1,000-square-feet of space to showcase exhibitions has turned into 5,000 in the new building.

"[The old building] was not an ideal exhibit space in any way, shape or form. So when we were planning the new museum, we wanted to build a state-of-the-art exhibit space and so, that's what we did," Jody Crago, the museum's administrator, told ABC15 Arizona.

Half of the space will be dedicated to an annual exhibition on Chandler's history, Crago said, while the other half will be used for traveling exhibitions, like Awkward Family Photos, which will change every two to three months.

The building also has a classroom for different programming and 10,000-square-foot courtyard that can be used for events and performances, he said.

It also features "Infinity Shade," a suspended public art installation that has 202 stainless steel fins that cast shadows on the front entrance. The shadows move as the sun moves across the sky.

At night, the color-changing LED lights illuminate the entrance for an evening art show.

"Awkward Family Photos" will be on display through Jan. 19, 2019. "Gaman : Enduring Japanese American Internment at Gila River" will be on display through April 18, 2020, according to the website.

The museum's regular hours will be Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Chandler Museum
300 S Chandler Village Drive. Chandler, AZ 85226