IU East to celebrate opening of Room 912 in Downtown Richmond

Indiana University East’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences is excited to announce the public opening of Room 912, located at 912 E. Main Street, in Richmond, Ind. on January 31, 2014.

The public is invited to join the celebration that begins with a ribbon cutting ceremony by the Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce at 6 p.m. The 900 block of East Main Street will be closed to traffic and guests may enjoy the first exhibition on display in the Room 912 Art Gallery, “Regional Impact:  Faculty Work from the IU Regional Campuses,” tour the facility, listen to live music performed by IU East faculty and students, and visit our neighbor Ply Fiber Arts at 921 East Main Street, which will remain open and participate in the festivities.Room912Image

Visitors will also be able to watch the live carving of an ice-wolf sculpture outside of Room 912 at 6:30 p.m. that will help launch the Meltdown Ice Festival that will take place January 31 through February 1.

Room 912 is comprised of an art gallery, classroom, and studio space. IU East classes began in Room 912 on January 13, 2014 and the Richmond Art Museum will begin offering a few classes later this month.

“Room 912 was created in order to provide additional space for gallery exhibitions and our growing fine arts RAMprogram,” said Katherine Frank, dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at IU East. “We chose downtown Richmond due to its rich history, expanding business community, and future potential. As a regional institution with a mission focused on contributing to the cultural and economic development of the communities we serve, this was the perfect opportunity to position IU East as a true steward of place and to promote the partnerships so important to strengthening our community.”

One such partnership is with the Richmond Art Museum that has been in need of space for daytime art classes.

“The opportunity for RAM to offer daytime programming at Room 912 is significant in that it gives us the ability to do something we have not yet done,” said Lance Crowe, education director at RAM. “Currently classes at RAM are offered in the evenings. This new partnership with IU East offers a new flexibility to our art education programs that will allow a wider audience of individuals to experience the enrichment that comes from engaging creatively in artistic endeavor.”

Kaylyn Flora, of Richmond, Ind., is a Fine Arts major at IU East. She said the expansion of IU East’s Fine Arts department into downtown Richmond is as significant to students as it is for the community.

“The studio offers a space dedicated solely to the creation of artwork while teaching us the importance of working in a studio environment both now and after graduation. My peers and I will have the space we need to explore new mediums and techniques for art making. Sharing a space with other talented capstone students will foster a potent creative energy that will inspire each of us to create our best work yet,” Flora said. “Just as important, we are at the heart of the city, and therefore, at the heart of the community. In our downtime, we have the opportunity to explore local shops and meet local business owners. Thus, we are provided with a sense of local history that will influence and will be translated in our artwork. In doing so, we can take part in the culture that has become integral to Richmond, Ind.”

RAM classes begin on January 23 with an Adult Art Education class taught by Tom Butters. People may read more about this class as well of Taste of the Arts Tuesdays and Mommy or Daddy and Me: Child and Parent Art Classes at richmondartmuseum.org/education/#Room912 or by calling RAM at (765) 966-0256.

“We urge businesses and organizations to think about interesting possibilities for collaboration involving Room 912 and to consider the many ways that art can inform, enhance, and guide our personal and professional endeavors,” Frank said.  “We welcome new ideas and new partnerships and look forward to the ways that we can all work together in the downtown area and throughout our community to feature and leverage the positive points of potential throughout Richmond and Wayne County.”