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Center a home for all artists

My Opinion
Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor, Editor

When I walked through the building at 117 E. Chestnut St. in Corydon on June 29, it was the first time I had been inside the location that was once home of the Butt Drugs store. Most recently, the site was home to the old Community First Bank’s downtown Corydon branch.
David Book was giving the ceiling a coat of black paint, working around the exposed ventilation pipes near the ceiling.
Rita Koerber and Jean Schettler, both members of the Harrison County Arts! board, excitedly talked about the plans that would transform the building into the Artisan Center, a place to showcase local artists of all forms and where teaching could take place.
Listening to Koerber and Schettler, and knowing some of the other HCA board members, there was no doubt that the finished product would be amazing.
But, I must confess, that the Artisan Center, which opened to the public on Friday, Sept. 2, surpassed my expectations.
Those who financially made the Center possible were treated to a sneak preview reception Thursday, Sept. 1, and many of those people shared my sentiment. There was such a tremendous show of support that it was tricky to navigate the hallway between the main gallery to the other rooms of the Center. But those in attendance gave the Center their overwhelming approval.
And how fitting that the opening show was a tribute to a local artist, the late Sidney D. Crosier, who hailed from Laconia. Many who had never seen Crosier’s work were given the opportunity, thanks to the generosity of the Harrison County Public Library, the Indiana State Museum and about 16 families who loaned numerous pieces painted by Crosier during his lifetime (1858 to 1930).
In the center of the main gallery are benches, where visitors can sit and study the displays or talk with others at the Center.
The smaller gallery features a myriad of art ‘ paintings, sculptures, jewelry, wood pieces ‘ made by local people. Many of the pieces are available for purchase.
And the Center isn’t just for visual art. The HCA board members will also incorporate the written word for the public to hear or read, when displayed on a large blackboard.
The seven members of the Harrison County Arts! board of directors beamed with pride as they and others shared the excitement of the fruits of their vision and labor.
It’s nice to finally have a place that artists can call home, where Harrison Countians as well as visitors to our community, can see what talented people we have here.
I hope you make a visit to the Center and help support this welcomed addition to Harrison County.