GARY, Ind., Nov. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The City of Gary celebrated the opening of ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen on November 19th with a community event and public unveiling of the project's first art installation, an exterior lighting sculpture powered by solar energy and designed by the artist duo Ripple + Wilson.
More than a year in the making, the ambitious ArtHouse, an arts and culinary incubator and gallery, is the collective vision of the City of Gary, community members, Midwest artists and laborers, and Artistic Director Theaster Gates. The concept won funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies as part of its Public Arts Challenge, as well as the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's 2015 Knight Cities Challenge.
In remarks to hundreds of attendees, Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson stated, "We are excited about the opening of Gary's ArtHouse, and about the resurgence public art can bring downtown. This project represents a new perspective as we imagine the future of our city. We are grateful for the partnerships that brought us to this day."
Theaster Gates also commented that, "Art has the ability to create a place where great things can happen, and great things are happening here. None of it would have been possible without the people, businesses, artists, chefs and city working together."
Gates, known for combining urban planning and art, has shown works in major museums and galleries around the world. He is the founder of the non-profit Rebuild Foundation, and is a professor in the Department of Visual Art and Director of Arts + Public Life at the University of Chicago. ArtHouse is a reflection of his vision to bridge the creation of art with adaptive reuse of abandoned spaces and community-driven initiatives for neighborhood revitalization.
"The creation of ArtHouse is a testament to the spirit of Gary, Indiana -- and it shows how arts and culture help invigorate neighborhoods and strengthen local economies," said Michael R. Bloomberg, philanthropist and three-term Mayor of New York City.
In the coming weeks, ArtHouse will host a culinary incubation center and training kitchen, along with trainings and seminars to help establish and engage local artists and drive economic activity in the region.
For more information on programming and upcoming sessions, please visit http://arthousegary.com/.
About ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen:
ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen is a dynamic destination for food, culture, art, meeting and learning in Gary, Indiana. ArtHouse is focused on creating a space that positively reflects the city of Gary, and provides a platform for economic and artistic activity in the downtown area. The site will evolve continuously through the work of partner organizations and creative individuals.
About Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge:
In October 2014, Bloomberg Philanthropies invited U.S. mayors of cities with 30,000 residents or more to collaborate with artists and arts organizations on developing innovative public art projects that engage residents and attract visitors. In June 2015, the four winning projects—including ArtHouse—were announced. Each project was selected to receive up to $1 million each as part of Bloomberg's Public Art Challenge – a new program designed to support temporary public art projects that celebrate creativity, enhance urban identity, encourage public-private partnerships, and drive economic development.
About Knight Cities Challenge:
The Knight Cities Challenge (KCC) funds projects that make cities more vibrant places to live and work. Knight Foundation's mission is to create more informed and engaged communities, specifically in the 26 cities where the Knight brothers once owned newspapers. The KCC accomplishes this by investing in civic innovators who use community resources to attract and keep talented people, expand economic opportunity, and foster a culture of engagement. The foundation believes that designing spaces to achieve these goals are key to cities' success.
SOURCE Bloomberg Philanthropies