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Artisan Center celebrates all art

Artisan Center celebrates all art
Artisan Center celebrates all art
Patrons get first glimpse Thursday evening during a private reception of the Artisan Center in Corydon. Photos by Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor (click for larger version)

There was no red carpet but Thursday’s private reception for the opening of the Artisan Center had the feel of a Hollywood event.
Guests who helped make the Center possible were greeted outside the building, located at 117 E. Chestnut St. in Corydon, by board members Linda Ray and Larry Morgan, who gave them their donor cards and a program about the opening show, and Jim Koerber, who had everyone write their name on a charm to attach to a wine glass. (Once inside, they were treated to wine from Scout Mountain or water.)
Then, they were able to walk into the Center, which was most recently a branch of Community First Bank and was the original Butt Drugs store. (The drug store is now located next door.)
About an hour into the opening, David Kocka, president of Harrison County Arts!, asked everyone to meet in the main room. The crowd spilled down the hallway.
‘I just want to take five minutes and chat with you,’ he said, adding that there would be ‘another good hour to celebrate’ the Center’s opening.
Kocka, who is an artist himself, said the Artisan Center will be not only for the visual arts but a place ‘where all arts can be celebrated.’
Various people had been working to make an arts center possible for about 25 years, he said, and he appreciated everyone who helped make the dream a reality.
A grant from the Harrison County Community Foundation helped with the building, then, Kocka said, ‘we had to beg, borrow and steal’ to renovate the inside.
Kocka introduced his fellow board members, including Rita Koerber, Jim’s wife, was responsible for most of the design work of the interior.
Other board members besides Morgan (vice president), Ray, Kocka and Rita Koerber are Jean Schettler, treasurer; Sheryl Scharf, secretary; and Rand Heazlitt.
He also recognized David Book, who ‘did the physical work when we couldn’t’; Gold Level patron Katie Butt Beckort, who kept the building for the group until the grant was secured; Silver Level patrons Elizabeth Magner, the Koerbers, Ray and June Schneider, The Bluffs Pottery and Firefly Farm Art Studio; Bronze Level patrons Dr. Guy and Mary Silva, Dawn Durbin DDS PC, First Harrison Bank and Jacobi Sales; HCCF; Corydon Capital Preservation Alliance Inc.; and the Century Patrons, 93 as of Thursday (will be limited to 100), ‘who allowed us to get this done.’
The opening show, which will be on display through Sept. 25, features the work of Sidney D. Crosier, a Hoosier art pioneer, who was born May 20, 1858, at the family homestead in Boone Township in southern Harrison County. Crosier died in 1930.
‘We have some Crosiers among our midst,’ Kocka said, pointing out Robert (Bob) and Thelma Crosier, ‘and they’re from my part of the country, LA, Laconia.’
Crosier’s work for the show, which includes a portrait of his mother, Matilda Boone Crosier, was borrowed from the collection of former Harrison County resident Larry Ordner.
‘We started with a local man,’ Kocka said. ‘One hundred seven years later, we got his paintings back.’
Those who attended the private reception were pleased with the results and oohed and aahed over the exhibits, including those by living artists, some who were in attendance at the opening.
Quarterly exhibitions by major area artists will be scheduled, with the next show being a children’s exhibit. The Center will also host art workshops.
Work by local juried artists is available for purchase at the Center.
The Center officially opened to the public Friday morning following a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Guests were treated to cake made by Marianne Will, who owns the nearby bakery.
The Artisan Center is open Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays from noon to 5 p.m., during all special events on the Corydon town square and until curtain call when there are performances at nearby Hayswood Theatre.
For more information, call 738-2123 or visit online at harrison-county-arts-corydon.net.

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