The New Bedford Art Museum engages the public in experiencing, understanding and appreciating art.
Since 1996, the New Bedford Art Museum has been a fixture in downtown New Bedford, offering engaging exhibitions of artwork from around the corner and across the ocean.
Linger, learn and appreciate art and artistic expression as you stroll through the Museum's main Skylight Gallery. Discover new delights as you explore the Museum's home, a former bank that includes two vintage vaults, one with a distinctive circular safe door.
The Museum strives to offer dynamic and interactive educational opportunities. Museum education programs reach out to the community through its distinctive ArtMobile summer program as well as creative arts education and lectures for adults and children.
Museum exhibits change three times each year and vary in subject matter and artistic medium. Contemporary and historic art, as well as local, national and international artists, have been displayed.
NBAM is an educational private non-profit (501 (c) 3) organization, which carries out its mission through two major areas of activity: mounting exhibits and conducting education programs.
NBAM is a non-collections-holding institution. Exhibited art and objects are culled from a variety of sources, including artist's collections, private collectors and cultural institutions. This strengthens NBAM's ongoing collaborative relationships, and often serves to bring art and objects into view that may not otherwise be available to our public.
NBAM is comprised of five galleries; the first level includes the Skylight Gallery, Heritage Gallery and the Upper Vault. On the lower level are the Community Gallery, and the Lower Vault with its distinctive circular safe door. We have three exhibition periods per year and can display from one to five exhibits per period.
NBAM is dedicated to presenting a wide array of art and objects, supported by an equally broad array of programming to appeal to the largest possible audience. Contemporary art, cultural art objects, and historic art are exhibited and include the art of local, national and international artists. Providing a balance of these exhibition categories accomplishes three goals:
- Reflect the plurality of interests in the SouthCoast region.
- Appeal to a wide potential audience.
- Challenge, expand, and educate viewers' perceptual scope.
The Museum offers dynamic and interactive educational opportunities to a wide variety of patrons. Education programs include:
- artMOBILE. Considered a cornerstone of NBAM's program and mission, this unique youth program offers free arts programming to youth in their neighborhoods. The distinctive "Purple Bus" and "Purple Mini-Van" bring art supplies and museum educators to twenty community sites a week during each summer.
- "Invest In Kids." After-School Program. Conducted at the Museum, the after-school program is part of the City of New Bedford's grant series, and offers regular activities to a youth population, filling a critical need during a high crime time (3-5pm). Current exhibits at NBAM provide the theme for the after-school art activities. Youth participating have come to refer the program as "Art Club."
- Lectures. "Artist's Talks" and "Curator's Talks" are usual compliments to NBAM exhibitions. They are designed to provide enhanced experiences by encouraging in depth explorations of the themes of artwork, as well as the mediums and techniques used to create the art.