Former Sarasota Museum of Art will now be officially known as Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College.

The proposition for a new art museum in Sarasota now includes a change in preposition.

What has been called the Sarasota Museum of Art will open in December as the Sarasota Art Museum.

Anne-Marie Russell, executive director of the museum, joked that SAM will be a better acronym than SMoA. She says the name change is not a big deal.

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“We dropped the ‘of,’” Russell said. “End of story.”

The full name for the institution will actually be the Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College. A $27 million renovation project has transformed the historic Sarasota High School building on the Tamiami Trail into a museum campus that includes Ringling’s School of Continuing Studies and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. The nature of the new museum has changed since its start as a community-driven project. It merged with Ringling College more than a dozen years ago, and renovation work was delayed while the college set plans to use space for its continuing education classes. The museum will host temporary exhibitions, lectures and community discussions.

The museum decided to tweak its name in April, Russell said, though no formal announcement was made. Some art patrons in Sarasota noticed when they received save-the-date notices for the museum’s Grand Opening Gala on Dec. 7.

Russell said museum staff members are busy with construction, programming and a thousand other details that must be addressed before the museum opens.

“We started our inaugural membership program yesterday,” she said. “To me, that’s the big news.”

Memberships are $65 for individuals, $100 for couples and $125 for families. The first 500 members will receive newsletters, advance notice and invitations to special events.

For membership information, call 941-387-4158 or e-mail membership@ringling.edu. The museum’s website is SarasotaArtMuseum.org