In years past, it was thought that art was no longer a necessary part of life. Art education was taken out of schools; college students were switching majors to fields more geared towards the sciences; and there was a general lack of creativity in society.
However, in more recent years, people have come to realize that art is incredibly important. Not only does the ability to practice and take in art enhance quality of life, it is also vital to tourism and economic development. The Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana (NWISOI) recognizes this and has honored several innovators for their contributions to art in Northwest Indiana.
One of the newest Members to the Society of Innovators is Artspace Uptown Artist Lofts. ArtSpace provides affordable live/work units for local artists and their families in Michigan City. The lofts are located in the Uptown Arts District which provides tenants with plenty of opportunities for work. Not only do these lofts provide housing for those in need, thus improving quality of life, their location allows for more artists to show and sell their work, prompting a boost in the local economy.
Another new inductee to the Society is Bead Town, a traveling art project and exhibit that has a location in Gary. In Bead Town, all the art is made from recycled Mardi Gras beads. Students and volunteers work with head artist Stephan Wanger to create the works of art which are then auctioned off to members of the community. Many works created by individual students during the school year. They get to work with their hands and experience the joy of creating art. In this way, Bead Town improves the quality of life of students in Gary. The gallery also draws visitors from all over the country, which promotes tourism and economic development in the city.
Finally, the Miller Beach Arts and Creative District, which was also inducted as a Member of the Society this year, serves as a hub of creative cultural and economic activity for the Miller Beach area of Gary. Art of all kinds is brought to the area which, in turn, brings visitors from all over the region.
NWISOI believes that innovation in art is one thing that sets Northwest Indiana apart from any other community and, thus, makes it a point to honor these innovators. To learn more about NWI art innovations, visit www.NWISOI.org.