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Decision To Remain Depends On Costs : Laguna Museum To Stay At Mall At Least Until April

January 29, 1987|HERMAN WONG

Although the Laguna Art Museum's board of trustees has not decided whether to renew its rent-free lease at the South Coast Plaza mall in Costa Mesa, the board has agreed to operate the site at least through April 27, museum officials disclosed Wednesday.

The museum will be able to announce its next program at the mall site next month, officials said. The current show--of painted woodworks by Laurie Pincus of Los Angeles--runs through March 22.

"Informally, the Segerstrom people are allowing us an open-ended stay. They're willing to give us time so we can fully study our options," said board president Thomas Tierney. He said the decision on the mall site might be reached at the April 27 board meeting.

The museum has operated the 3,000-square-foot storefront facility since October, 1984. The rent-free lease with the mall's operator, C. J. Segerstrom & Sons, expired at the end of 1986.

But the museum, which last September reopened its $1.6-million rebuilt main structure in Laguna Beach, has not determined whether it can continue to pay the $100,000-a-year operating costs of the mall facility. The operating budget at the main facility is $710,000.

In addition to continuing a regular exhibiting program, the museum is studying a plan to make the mall site a showcase for video art. To raise additional revenue, the board is considering the sale and rental of artworks as well as expanding the mall site's gift shop.

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