Arts get a new home: Arts Center renovation nearly completeA new era for the arts in Jamestown is set to begin next weekend as the Arts Center will move back to its remodeled location after a yearlong absence.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
A new era for the arts in Jamestown is set to begin next weekend as the Arts Center will move back to its remodeled location after a yearlong absence.
“It’s not a huge step forward for the arts because we’ve always been delivering the arts,” said Taylor Barnes, Arts Center director. “We’ve just been delivering them in a dumpy building,” she said of the facility before the remodel.
The remodeled building at 115 Second St. SW has a new feel with a spacious, natural-lit lobby to welcome patrons.
Office space has been increased, as a spiral staircase leads to two second-floor offices with a catwalk connecting them.
A classroom complete with a kitchen for culinary arts classes has been installed behind front desk. Toward the back of the center, the gallery/auditorium has been widened and a multipurpose room has been added.
“We do quality programing in the arts,” Barnes said. “This is now a quality facility.”
Barnes said the final two phases of the Arts Park and endowment fund will be completed sooner with increased community support.
The center has been operating out of space provided by Dakota Central Telecommunications on Second Avenue Northwest during the project. The center offered classes there but no gallery exhibits opened and the 2nd ACT Community Theater performed at a different location.
That will change with the opening of the new “Capture the Coteau” exhibit that will be on display when the facility reopens.
The Coteau is the region that encompasses much of North Dakota and is defined as containing rolling, grassy hills, rocky soils and potholes and lakes.
Sally Jeppson, gallery manager, said North Dakota can be harsh but also serene. “Capture the Coteau” will feature nine regional artists who draw influence from the landscape.
Sabrina Hornung, a Jamestown native now based in Fargo, will display prairie photos with images imposed on top of a North Dakota from yesteryear.
“People often associate the cowboy with North Dakota terrain,” Hornung said. “It’s either that or some kind of Cohen brothers reference, so I think it’s more positive and reflects a frontier ideal,” she said of her work.
Jeppson said the exhibit will be evolving after the installation for two and a half months as community members are welcome to participate and display anything that relates to the prairie.
The exhibit will also feature all types of media from sculptures to paintings to drawings and photos. People can also bring in any art they wish to display.
The renovation is part of the Arts Center’s ongoing capital fund drive to raise funds for the continuation of the arts in Jamestown.
The first stage was the remodel of the Hansen Studio, the second phase was the renovation of the Arts Center and the third and fourth stages are the Arts Park and the establishment of an endowment fund.
The Arts Park is a lot located across the street that Barnes said she wants to evolve into a community resource for the arts that serves as a gathering space and performance area.
The endowment fund would be established so interest from the fund could sustain current arts related spaces.
Barnes said the arts in Jamestown would not be possible if it wasn’t for the community’s contributions. That includes programs for children to seniors as well as the new facility and the creation of the Arts Park across the street from the new facility.
“Really the dollars for the project came from the community, which is rewarding to see the community support the Arts Center,” she said of the $500,000 renovation.
The remodeled Arts Center will be open for the general public from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6. Following next weekend regular hours will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, from noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays by appointment.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org