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Union Street Gallery opens in downtown Kokomo

Apr. 27, 2016

IU Kokomo Union Street Gallery opened its doors Friday evening to a welcoming crowd, displaying the artwork of many students, faculty and alumni at the downtown location.

Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke was one of the first to welcome supporters just before the official ribbon cutting ceremony.

ribbon cutting ceremony

Minda Douglas, pictured far left, is the associate professor of fine arts and faculty advisor for the gallery. She said the space offers great potential for not only the students, but the campus as well. | PHOTO COURTESY OF IU KOKOMO

“This gallery will be a great opportunity for art, graphic design and new media students,” Sciame-Giesecke said. “It will allow them to take what they have learned in the classroom and apply it to real world situations.”

She thanked major benefactors, Dr. Charles and Alice Simons, for their generous donations, and KipCor owner Jeff Broughton for renting out the space. She also expressed gratitude to Mayor Greg Goodnight for his help in seeking out locations. Local restaurant Gabettas generously provided catering for the event.

“Alice and I are pleased to be a part of this valuable project,” Dr. Simons said. “Art is everywhere and it is important to make it a part of your life.”

The current exhibition showcases nearly 20 different artists, including a variety of artworks such as digital design, printmaking, jewelry design, painting and ceramic works. The gallery also houses two studio spaces for alumni to take up a six-month residency.

In addition to the already existing art gallery in the IU Kokomo Kelley Student Center, this gallery will allow for students to connect with the downtown community and sell their art to local clients or businesses.

Minda Douglas, associate professor of fine arts and faculty advisor for the gallery, said the space offers great potential for not only the students, but the campus as well.

“We hope to open up this space for other campus events in the future,” she said. “We could have lectures, musical performances or even poetry readings.”

Also located in the gallery space is a digital design studio where students create brochures, logos, and other materials at no charge for local non-profit organizations.

Michael Koerner, assistant professor of new media, said the digital design studio gives students real-world opportunities.

“This studio not only helps to feed the community, but also provide students the chance to go beyond just developing their portfolio,” he said.

Located in the Firestone Building, 209 N. Union Street, the regular hours for the art gallery will be 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. It will also be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

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