This summer, the city of Anderson can enjoy a new space for the visual arts.
On Friday, June 1st, Park Place Arts opened its doors to the public with an exhibition of photography and painting from a diverse group of artists, several whom are Anderson University alumni: Kerri Ammirata (BA ‘06), Vanessa DeYoung (BA ‘06), Mark DeYoung (MTS '12), Dale Stultz (BA '65), and Eliot Reed (BA '06). Additional artists represented in the show are Peter Gaunt and Amanda Schaeffer Lufkin.
Reed, a photographer and the owner of Park Place Arts, explained that opening an art gallery and studio has been a long-time dream of his. He was first inspired in college, while reading a biography of Georgia O’Keeffe. “Most of my friends throughout college were art students, writers and musicians, but in Anderson there was never a place to showcase and exhibit their talent,” he adds. He intends for Park Place Arts to change that.
The gallery is located in a historic house on Eighth Street, which Reed remodeled himself, along with the help of his father and a few friends. It was a daunting challenge, Reed says — but the hard work has paid off. On its opening night, the gallery was buzzing with visitors and congratulations. “Everyone has been supportive thus far, especially those that know the Park Place neighborhood and remember when it was full of local businesses and activities.”
Reed's work as a photographer references nature. He was first inspired by the sweeping landscapes of early 20th century photographers like Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and Dorothea Lange. Reed spent time traveling throughout the United States, following in their shoes; gradually his work shifted to focus on smaller, more abstract elements of the environment. “I think this illustrates the beauty and complexity of the natural world that occurs everywhere if one stops to look,” he explains.
Other work in the show includes paintings by two Art+Design alumni, Kerri Ammirata and Vanessa (Gill) DeYoung. Ammirata earned her MFA at Boston University in 2010; she currently teaches at the Indianapolis Art Center in Broad Ripple. DeYoung is an art teacher at Anderson Elementary School.
The gallery also operates as a frame shop and photography studio. Current hours are 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. on Saturday.
The Department of Art+Design at Anderson University offers majors in the areas of fine arts studio, visual communication design, and visual arts education. Students gain experience through intensive studio practice, professional internships, and by working closely with a faculty of professional artists and designers.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of about 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.