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Wassenberg Art Center- Community Responsibility

Hope Wallace - Thursday, April 16, 2015

What character traits does it take to rebuild a vital community? Vision, hope, enthusiasm, imagination but most importantly a smidgeon of courage. It requires all of us to be willing to think and to ask “what if”. What if we changed this? What if we tried this? For example, what if we turned an existing structurally sound, ADA accessible building into something the community can use to grow its culture, identity and ultimately its ability to serve its own residents by giving back directly to them? What is one of the first things a prospective corporation asks when locating in a certain area? What types of cultural and arts resources and centers do you have? How strong is your arts community? Are there facilities and organizations that foster theater, music, visual arts and architecture? Are the arts easily accessible and open for all members of the city, not just the perceived elite? The arts are the heartbeat of a community. When they are not permitted to grow and foster everyone, the community languishes.

What about service clubs? Do they equally support and back all of the arts programs in the community both fiscally and physically? What about scout troops and youth organizations? Is commitment to community being effectively fostered there and sometimes the greater good needs to prevail? What about the area schools?

Are they cheering on their visual art students by grabbing every chance they can to promote and compete in local, state and the national competition available? Here’s a myth-buster. “It’s hard to get a job in the arts”. Bunk. It is difficult to get a job, period. In today’s speed-of-light technology changes and our visually saturated world, art and design jobs abound. There are almost unlimited areas in visual arts students can make a living once they graduate college. Graphic design, web design, illustration, phone application design, video games, surface design, giftware design, toy design, animation, stage set design, architecture, 3D rendering, marketing/communications, packaging design, art therapy, art education, painters, sculptors, interior design, landscape design, photography, book design, this list truly could go on forever pretty much matching the shapes, patterns and colors that make up our world.

The Wassenberg Art Center’s hours during exhibits are: Tuesday through Sunday 1–5 p.m. and you may contact the art center at 419.238.6837, by email: info@wassenbergartcenter. org or via our website at: wassenbergartcenter.org. The Wassenberg Art Center is located at 643 South Washington Street in Van Wert. Admission to exhibits is always free and open to the public.