Tag Archives: jasper community arts

The Cultural Center, Part II – The New Library Is Open!

The new Thyen Clark Cultural Center is now open to the public.

Finally, the new library is open at the cultural center.  And, boy, is it magnificent!  Better than anything I could have imagined, even when I was working on the project!

As mentioned earlier, this is a joint project combining the Jasper-Dubois County Public Library and the Jasper Arts Department (excluding the performing arts center).  I posted photos of the new galleries earlier.  I’ll add the classrooms, studio spaces, and the black box theater later.

Cultural Center front, east wing holding the library.

Today’s photos feature the new library.  After nearly two decades of planning, votes, fundraising, the doors were open this week.  I took my granddaughter for our first visit afterschool on Tuesday.  Then went back alone for a more thorough visit on Wednesday.

This is the beautiful atrium which separates the arts side from the library. It has a full catering kitchen for special events and will seat 150 at table. I think this will become very popular for families looking to get out of the house in the winter with the kids…once we’re allowed to get together again.

In speaking with the library director, she said that people have commented on all the new books.  She’s replied, they haven’t added any new volumes; the old library was just that over-crowded.  Now it has plenty of room for technology, including a maker space, a teen zone, genealogy room,  lots of quiet nooks and meeting spaces.  Plus…the books books books. It even has an outdoor balcony for those who like some fresh air while they read.

For now, the entire Cultural Center is open six days a week with plans to expand to seven days a week sometime later.  If you come for a visit, don’t forget to save time to visit the nearby Schaeffer Barn, the old school house, the mill and the train depot, all set along the scenic Patoka River in downtown Jasper.  Admission is free.

The view from the library entrance from the atrium.
Lots of current magazines and newspapers to read and plenty of reading nooks for everybody.
One of many work spaces for patrons. Most of the tables have charger stations, too.
The beautiful wall art by Romy and Clare Designs. The upper level holds offices, the genealogy room and an outdoor patio/balcony.
One of the little reading nooks in the children’s section. Each has its own reading light, too. Of course, I had to try one out.
A view of the children’s section with child-sized furniture, shelves and family-friendly activities.
Another inviting lounge area. The teen zone and maker space are in the glass-walled areas behind. Recorded books and digital media and music to the rear right.
The money shot from the balcony area. Such a beautiful design for all.
Parking at the rear of the center shows our neighbors, Schaeffer barn and a one-room school house which was recently moved in. To the rear of that is the famous Riverwalk. And across the street from the center is the Jasper Train Depot and the old restored mill. This will be a great place to bring kids for field trips.

Update on Jasper Cultural Center

A few weeks ago I eagerly posted some preliminary photos of the new Jasper Cultural Center in Jasper, Indiana.  Well, they weren’t quite ready for release yet so I took the post down.  However, even though they’re still not quite ready, some of the portions of the Cultural Center are now open.  So I’m giving you a preview of those parts.

The three galleries in the center are open to the public.  These are really awesome galleries, very large with clearstory windows.  They are located in the arts section of the Cultural Center.  The idea is to have staggered two-month exhibits featuring local, regional and national artists.  The first exhibits this year are John Mellencamp, Gerry Wubben, and a group show featuring local and regional artists.  Let me just say, everything looks wonderful in these galleries and Emily Colluci-Peak, the Visual Arts Coordinator, has done a marvelous job of hanging the exhibits. If you have some time, take a drive out to see the exhibits.

John Mellencamp is well-known for his music but many people don’t realize that he’s also an accomplished painter, too. An Indiana native, he graciously agreed to help us kick off the arts part of the cultural center. We weren’t planning on a pandemic, but the show is amazing and inspiring to view. Worth the visit from wherever you are.
Mellencamp, gallery view 2
Mellencamp gallery view 3

They’re still finalizing the classroom spaces.  The atrium between the library and the arts section has no furniture yet but it looks ready to go.  And the library is waiting for some shelving which is on back order. But the whole shebang will be open in another few weeks. I’ll be sure to post some more updates then.

Gerry Wubben’s enormous and awesome drawings. You can’t believe the details of these artworks until you see them in person.
More of Gerry Wubben’s drawings.
Group show featuring local and regional artists.
Group show 2
Group show 3

If you’re feeling housebound these days and looking for a place to go for a drive, I highly recommend that you plan a trip to Jasper in southern Indiana.  The new cultural center is at 100 Third Avenue right in downtown Jasper, near the river and many other interesting places to visit.  Plenty of parking in the rear of the building (turn north on Mill Street, then east on Fourth Street).  And many fine restaurants and shopping areas to visit.  Admission is free.

Jasper is a small Midwestern town of only about 15,000.  But the whole town came together to build this wonderful site…after many years of planning.  Initiated by a major challenge grant from some significant local donors, local businesses and private donors jumped in to help.  A decade-long community project has been finally realized. 

If you are an artist looking to exhibit in such a fine space, contact Emily Colluci-Peak at Jasper Arts Center. The submission deadline for 2022 is February 12th of this year. Check out this link here. Click here to take a virtual tour of the three exhibits.