A new museum where art combines with industry and delivers audiences a slice of everything from fashion to history is just months away from opening in Eugene.
The Museum of Techno Art, also known as the MTA, will fully open this fall in October at the Miner Building, 132 E. Broadway. It will showcase technological themes and high-tech industrial art with work by artists such as steampunk artist Steve LaRiccia, sculptor Jud Turner, metalworker Joe Mross and conceptual artist Glenn Smith.
LaRiccia has worked at the nonprofit artists’ collective New Zone Gallery for more than 20 years and has served as the gallery coordinator until this upcoming October, when he will fully transition to the MTA.
“Glenn found a space for the Museum of Techno Art and a lot of people think I’m retiring from New Zone, but we’re just moving on, you know, we were onto something different,” LaRiccia says.
LaRiccia has been a key player at the New Zone, coordinating art shows, handling public relations and even, in the past, its finances.
Focusing on his own work, he says steampunk art involves literature, fashion and jewelry. It intertwines great engineering and science.
“The New Zone is a monster that I created because I did everything, I knew everything, but as the days go by, we are getting excited about leaving and moving to something else,” he says. “And I know that New Zone will probably struggle a little bit, yeah, and they can always give me a call if they have a question.”
The MTA will be just two blocks from the New Zone Gallery.
The museum will showcase art as an industry, Smith said, and hopes to bring in the business and industrial side of art through its audiences.
LaRiccia is currently showcasing his final solo exhibit at the New Zone, featuring some of his most famous Polaroid work and his “Oppenheimer’s Enigma” piece, which cranks out military-style dog tags, but separately tells a historic story with a collection of items from decades of the past.
Smith said LaRiccia had a vast collection of his steampunk pieces in his home and they needed a place to go which led to the idea of creating the MTA. The space currently consists of two small rooms. The museum is aimed at kids, adults and everyone in between, the founders say.
The new Museum of Techno Art, 132 E. Broadway, is currently open by appointment for tours by getting in touch with Steve LaRiccia at SteamWorksLabs@centurylink.net or Glenn Smith at GlennWSmith@gmail.com.