Contact: Brett Knappe, Ph.D.
Executive Director
For Immediate Release

The Museum of New Art (MONA), a New Contemporary Art Space, to Open in Historic Downtown Portsmouth

Portsmouth, NH—The Museum of New Art (MONA), a 6800 sq. ft. new art space exclusively dedicated to contemporary art, will open its doors to the public on October 23, 2021. The museum, located in the newly restored and renovated 1905 YMCA building, is part of a new cultural hub in historic downtown Portsmouth that also includes Jimmy’s Jazz and Blues Club, a state-of-the-art music venue.  MONA is the newest addition to the art museums corridor between Boston, MA and Portland, ME.

Spanning the entire first floor, with 3 galleries and an atrium featuring a 17-foot ceiling, MONA anchors the landmark building at 135 Congress Street, at the heart of the historic Market Square District in Portsmouth.  The steel and glass structure, with 2 story glass windows, was developed by Mike and Peter Labrie and designed by Andrew Sidford Architects of Boston.  The Auger Building Company is the General Contractor for the Project.

Featuring three changing exhibitions a year, MONA will focus on presenting new evolutions of contemporary art.  The museum aims to support contemporary artists and to engage the community with immersive experiences, art education, and public dialogue about the art of today.  The art museum will put a special focus on local artists.  

MONA’s inaugural exhibition will feature Brooklyn-based artist, Markus Linnenbrink.  The artist will present site-specific room-sized installations, sculptures, and three-dimensional works on canvas and paper.  Linnenbrink’s works are included in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, UCLA Hammer Museum, the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, and others.

“MONA will create dynamic and exciting cultural experiences for the Seacoast,” says Suzanne Bresette, Chairperson of the MONA’s Board of Directors.  “The Board hopes that the museum, a relaunch of the original museum, The New Museum of Portsmouth, will be a trailblazing art space connecting culturally diverse, globally influenced, and technologically advanced artists with our community.”

"The City of Portsmouth welcomes the Museum of New Art (MONA) to its new home on Congress Street and to the City's vibrant arts community,” says Karen Conard, City Manager of Portsmouth.  “We look forward to the facility attracting a wider audience and with it, the direct and indirect economic benefits to local businesses that further elevates the city’s reputation as a high quality cultural destination. We expect that as part of the beautiful renovation of the historic, former YMCA building the museum will complement Jimmy’s on Congress Jazz Club and further enliven the gateway to the West End."

MONA will celebrate its opening with a special gala event on Wednesday, October 20, 2021, 5-9 pm.  The event will include tours of the museum, meeting the artist, Markus Linnenbrink, salsa performance and hours d’oeuvres served at the Jimmy’s Jazz and Blues Club.  Information about the event and tickets can be found on Eventbrite.com.  

A grand opening including a gallery talk by the artist, Markus Linnenbrink, is scheduled for Saturday, October 23, 2021, 6-9 pm.  Cub The museum will be open Tuesday-Wednesday, 10am to 5pm, Thursday through Saturday, 10am to 9pm and Sunday, 10am to 5pm. MONA will be closed on Mondays.

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