Art Museum Store Gaining New Status

By Eric Olson

October 27, 2010 Updated Oct 27, 2010 at 3:27 PM EST

FORT WAYNE, Indiana (Indiana's NewsCenter)--Much has been reported of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art’s beautiful expansion project…it’s spectacular new galleries, permanent exhibits and gorgeous amenities. One corner of the museum that hasn’t gotten much attention though, is about to get a lot.

“I guess we’re looking for the unique kind of design that’s still affordable but something you can’t find almost anywhere else,” says museum director Charles Shepard III. “Not just in Fort Wayne but anywhere else in the region.”

For decades the museum store has been a neat place to find artsy kinds of gifts, games and home décor. It is still all that but in the next few weeks, just in time for Christmas shopping, this space is getting a makeover with lots of bright colors, comfy chairs to lounge in, music to listen to and a great line of new gifts, many produced by local artists.

“It will relate to the concept of being handmade,” says Shepard, “of being specially thought out in an aesthetic manner that will be more pleasing that something that just came off a commercial assembly line.”

That process has already begun. The shelves now hold lots of work by local artists; ceramics by Joseph Pelka, wood pieces by Decatur artist David Mann, wood sculptures by Curtis Delk Rose. Dianne Groenart’s fantastic portraits of Fort Wayne landmarks are here as are Gwen Gutwein’s beautiful portraits of Indiana barns. But soon most of what’s sold here will be locally produced. The store will have its own entrance right off main street and a sign outside pointing the way, to Fort Wayne’s newest, brightest, greatest place to shop, right in the heart of Your Country. This is Eric Olson reporting.




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