KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo plans to open an art gallery in downtown Kokomo, allowing students, faculty, and alumni exhibition and classroom space, it was announced Wednesday (October 28).
“IU Kokomo is coming to downtown, because our students want to be downtown,” said Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke. “We have some talented fine art students and faculty, and this gallery gives us a venue to showcase their talent and to be part of the community.”
The gallery will be in the Firestone Building, 219 N. Union Street, with an anticipated grand opening in February or March 2016.
Sciame-Giesecke thanked Dr. Charles and Alice Simons, and KipCor owner Jeff Broughton, the benefactors who made it possible. She also expressed gratitude to Mayor Greg Goodnight, who helped her seek locations for the gallery.
“Without them, the gallery would be just a dream,” she said. “We are ecstatic to have them as our partners. Our students are grateful for the opportunity they have made possible.”
Gregory Steel, associate professor of fine arts, said in addition to the commercial aspect of being able to sell work, students look forward to sharing their art with a larger audience.
“Art is an act of communicating some deep human truths,” he said.
Senior Lori Brubaker and Minda Douglas, associate professor of fine arts, presented Dr. and Mrs. Simons with a silkscreen print they collaborated to create for the couple, as a thank you for their support. Brubaker appreciates that alumni will be able to exhibit in the gallery, in addition to students.
Dr. Simons appreciates the chance to be part of the new gallery.
“We are excited to be part of the rebirth of a building, and the birth of a new gem that is about to glisten,” he said. “The arts represent the human spirit, who we were, who we are, and can predict who we will become.”
The new gallery will be in addition to the campus Art Gallery, located in the Kelley Student Center.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.