Long Beach art institutions to merge

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- The Long Beach Museum of Art (LBMA) has announced a merger.

The Art Exchange (ARTx) will merge with the Long Beach Museum of Art Foundation to form LBMAx.

ARTx has been a multi-purpose campus providing studios and an exhibition gallery.

This will provide the Long Beach Museum of Art a long-sought downtown presence.

The new LBMAx will undergo a complete exterior upgrade and a remodel of its second-floor annex.

The annex will include administrative, education and curatorial offices, a reference library and meeting space.

Museum officials say the new campus received a generous private donor gift allowing for the complete exterior upgrade.

ARTx was founded 20 years ago to provide work and gallery space for artists while developing art education programs.

LBMA is a 68-year-old institution owned by the city.

The first LBMAx exhibition, "Praxis", will open July 14.