Contemporary art advocate thrilled with MOCA opening in University Circle

Hope Hungerford’s first husband Andrew Dempsey introduced her to the world of contemporary art. And it’s a world the Judson Manor resident continues to relish as a long-time trustee of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Cleveland. MOCA recently opened its acclaimed new home only steps away in University Circle.

“Those of us who’ve been involved with the organization since the beginning are so excited,” says Hope of the triumphant opening. “The museum’s new building makes an important statement about Greater Cleveland’s support for contemporary art.”

Designed by Iranian-born Farshid Moussavi of London, the new MOCA anchors University Circle’s burgeoning Uptown district. The four-story building rises 60 feet from a hexagonal base to a square top. Clad primarily in mirror-finish black Rimex stainless steel, the façade will reflect its urban surroundings, changing in appearance with differences in light and weather.

See Hope interviewed about MOCA’s recent opening on WVIZ PBS/ideastream’s “Applause.”

A Cleveland Heights native, Hope earned a degree in history from Connecticut College. She returned to Cleveland and worked as an assistant to architect John Terrence Kelly, until she left to raise a family with her first husband, Andrew Dempsey.

Although Hope always appreciated fine art and architecture, her interest in modern art was nurtured by Andrew and his family, who were avid collectors. When Andrew became chairman of the board of the New Gallery (MOCA’s first iteration), Hope started volunteering and joined the board, eventually serving on the search committee that hired current Executive Director Jill Snyder. She was also very involved in the planning for MOCA’s move to its amazing new home.

Hope admits that Cleveland has come a long way in its appreciation for contemporary art.

“Cleveland was and still is a very conservative town,” says Hope. “You’ve got to educate the public about the work. Jill Snyder and her team have done a yeoman’s job of amassing support and understanding. I admit I don’t always understand it, but that’s what makes it so interesting. It’s important to know about the art of our times.”

Hope and her second husband Clark Hungerford moved to Judson a couple of years ago.  She settled in an apartment at Judson Manor and he lives in long-term nursing care at the Bruening Health Center at Judson Park.

“The care he receives is amazing,” notes Hope. “I visit him on a daily basis.”

Hope loves living at Judson Manor. “The apartments are spacious. I was able to bring my grandfather clock. Plus, after looking at a number of other options, the Manor was very reasonably priced-it was more viable financially,” admits Hope.

“Judson Manor is so convenient to the best of culture in Cleveland. I can walk to MOCA, the Cleveland Museum of Art and Magnolia Boulevard, with its beautiful, historic homes. And after a day out and about, I love coming home to the sound of the Cleveland Institute of Music students practicing in the Manor lobby!”

Interested in learning more about living at Judson Manor, located in the cultural center of Cleveland?  Call 1-888-574-1906 or email kristina@judsonsmartliving.org.

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