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Creations by IU Kokomo artists featured in new art district

September 30, 2014

KOKOMO, Ind. — Artists from Indiana University Kokomo contribute to the city’s growing cultural scene, featured in the first-ever Artist Alley exhibition.

Artist's AlleyRachelle LaMonde, Lori Brubaker, and Minda Douglas display art in a local alley.Artist Alley, located behind the Howard County Administration Building on North Main Street, debuts during First Friday activities, at 5:30 p.m. October 3.

Students Cat Bolinger, Greentown; Lori Brubaker, Flora; and Rachelle LaMonde, Kokomo; and Minda Douglas, associate professor of fine arts, are among the dozen artists whose work was selected. IU Kokomo alumnae Nicole Ingalls, Flora, and Biz Bates, Kokomo, also are included, as well as Theresa Stewart, whose artwork is featured in the window of the nearby Artworks Gallery.

“This is a good way for us to contribute to our community, and to bring attention to the fine arts program at IU Kokomo,” said LaMonde, a native of Ventura, Calif. “It feels really nice that people will actually see my artwork, and it’s adding to the culture of our city as a whole.”

She created a sculpture from objects she found at a local scrapyard, and was excited to invite people from the scrapyard to come see the final result.

“This is the first time I’ve had something displayed publicly, other than in the campus art gallery,” she said. “That’s what art is for, for people to enjoy and appreciate, not just to sit at my house.”

As Bolinger prepares to graduate in 2015, she is happy there is more appreciation of art in the community, with local schools adding integrated fine arts programs, and the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts at IU Kokomo.

“We are growing a creative culture here in Kokomo,” she said. “It’s exciting to be a part of it, and to have people see and appreciate what you’ve created.”

Brubaker appreciates the opportunity to have her work out where it can be seen, so she can build a following as an artist before she graduates. She’s also glad to be part of a movement to create culture.

“This reminds people we have an art program at IU Kokomo, and it brings more awareness of art to the city,” she said.

The fine arts program began a partnership with the Kokomo Art Association earlier in 2014, when the Artworks Gallery displayed the large prints IU Kokomo students created using an industrial steamroller in April. That led to an invitation to submit work for consideration for the Artist Alley.

Douglas said both the students and community benefit from this partnership.

“It’s exciting for the students, and for our recent graduates, to work on a project that will be seen by a lot of people,” she said. “At the same time, they’re providing something that enhances the culture in our community, and bringing positive attention to our campus.”

Artwork will remain displayed in Artist Alley for 90 days to six months, and is available to purchase. Douglas expects more students to submit their projects to be included in the future.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

Last updated: 12/22/2014