Ellen Noël Art Museum in Odessa announces $12 million fundraising campaign for new facility

ODESSA — Community members and leaders gathered at the Ellen Noel Art Museum on Saturday for the launch of the fundraising campaign for the museum’s new, expanded facility.

After 37 years, the museum will be redesigned to better meet the needs of the public and the growing community. Officials said $9.5 million of the $12 million goal for the capital campaign had already been raised. Construction of the project is expected to begin in November with a 14-month project schedule.

The new facility will expand the museum’s footprint by 13,808 square feet with a 9,700 square foot gallery space that is no longer hindered by a curved wall, a 2,000 square foot theater and multipurpose gallery space, a 4,700 square foot space – foot event space and two classrooms, which will also serve as meeting rooms. The theater will have a capacity of 100 seats. Architects Parkhill, Smith and Cooper of Midland have completed detailed drawings for the project.

The museum currently hosts 12 to 18 exhibitions per year. The museum’s past exhibits have included “Ground Zero: 360 – A 911 Retrospective” (2019), “Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes of Fame” (2017), and “Golden Age of Hollywood” (2018). Prior to the pandemic, the museum hosted nearly 300 events and programs for children, adults and seniors in West Texas. The museum has also contributed over 30,000 teaching hours to the ISD of Ector County.

“We want to grow and serve our community as it grows,” ENAM Executive Director Shelia Perry said during the announcement. “This building is 37 years old and everything is original, which speaks to the quality of the construction in 1985. This building is as beautiful as it was when it was built. We will be doing an upgrade to bring everything up to standard and update some of the aging systems that have reached their life cycle. We will also expand and change the look of the museum.

The new design aims to make the museum more welcoming to visitors with a designated entrance featuring a glass facade. The new louver system will help shield the new classrooms and glazed halls from the West Texas sun. The redesigned space will also concentrate collections and exhibit activities at the west end of the building, reducing the square footage that needs to be cooled and humidified to meet American Alliance of Museums standards, which translates through increased efficiency.

“The new facade will open up the not-so-welcoming brick with glass,” said RJ Lopez. “We are adding a new modern arched walkway to the main entrance. There will be a large glass hall asking the community to come inside.


Not only will the new facility provide more space for the community and exhibits, but it will also allow exhibits that the museum previously could not accommodate to travel to the Permian Basin. Safety and technical upgrades include a fire suppression system, updated lighting elements, humidity and temperature control via the HVAC system and an updated security system.

While the museum is in the construction phase, museum staff, exhibits and programming will temporarily relocate to the John Ben Sheppard Public Leadership Institute, across the parking lot from 4919 University Blvd., beginning in September 2022. The move into space allowed a partnership to be opened up between the two entities.

For more information or to donate, visit https://culturalenhancementnoelartmuseum.org/.


Becky Spurlock, vice president of student affairs and student services for the University of Texas Permian Basin, said sharing the space was a lighting moment because they will have museum professionals to help them with their records. The partners will share space and expertise to help each other.

The Perryman Group estimates that the construction and renovation phase would lead to an increase in business activity in the Odessa region of nearly $9.4 million in production, $6.5 million in personal income and 104 jobs. in one year. Ongoing annual benefits from additional operations and tourism expansion include an estimated $11.8 million in output, $7.3 million in personal income, and 155 jobs when multiplier effects are taken into account. Economic activity generates additional tax and tax revenue from ongoing annual benefits, including approximately $633,700 per year for local governments.

State Representative Brooks Landgraf said he remembers the museum opening as an art institute and visited the space with his mother and sisters to participate in play programs for children.

“It was here (ENAM) in 1985 that I first encountered at the age of 4 in Odessa, Texas, a world beyond what immediately surrounded me,” he said. he declares.

He added that the museum is an oasis in the desert, a refuge from a world that can be harsh and cruel, and a place of inspiration.

Mildred D. Field