Lori Arnold, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, in the Ozark Bath House in Hot Springs, says flooding from the museum’s roof cave-in “isn’t going to get us” down.
In Saturday night’s downpour, rain filled a one and a half-foot deep area in the museum’s roof so quickly that it couldn’t drain, and the weight sent the roof crashing down, sending the water into three galleries, Arnold’s office and buckling a wall. Two oils by Ryan Coleman that were on exhibit got wet; Arnold is hopeful they can be restored.
Humidifiers and fans were roaring in the background as I spoke to Arnold this morning, who said police advised her not to respond to an alarm at MOCA about 3 a.m. Sunday morning because of flash floods in town. She said when she arrived Sunday morning, she could see how bad things were when she opened the door. Charlie Canterberry, president of the museum’s board, will be in today to assess the damage. Arnold said the museum’s insurance agents “are taking care of a lot of people right now” and she didn’t have a report from them.
Besides Coleman’s work, bronzes by Boban were on display. Arnold is unsure when the museum will be able to open again, but she says if she has to cordon off areas she will do so to be open in time for the summer tourist season. Galleries on the second floor were unharmed.
Two Hot Springs businesses are pitching in to help: The Wine Rack and Spirits Shoppe, owned by Cord Kopcau, and Central Park Fusion restaurant, owned by Matt Fuller, are contributing to a wine-tasting fund-raiser to be held from 3 to 5 p.m. May 22. Tickets are $35.
Arnold said pictures of damage would be posted on the museum’s facebook page (MOCA museum) later in the day.