The Mansfield Art Center turns 70 years old in 2021. As that anniversary nears, art students and appreciators of the arts can expect to see some splendid changes to the art center both inside and out.
In 2019, over $2.8 million was raised during the Mansfield Art Rising Capital Campaign, effectively exceeding the original goal. Through such generous donations, the education wing will expand, offering more classes than before as well as more studio space.
Executive Director George Whitten couldn’t be more thrilled to offer new tools for artists.
“Most artists today want to rent a studio instead of owning one. The younger generation wants to move around, they want to go places, they don’t want to be settled down and build a factory, so to speak,” Whitten said.
The new studio wing offers an upstairs office base and studio that splits between glassblowing and ceramic classes. Ceramics have always been a popular class for the art center, but glassblowing will be the newest addition to the facility as well as the Mansfield area.
As it can be expensive for artists to acquire the equipment and materials they need to produce their work, the Mansfield Art Center will help those artists by providing them several resources.
“Everybody wants to stay mobile, be with their friends and rent studio space. That’s some of what we’ll be offering at the department,” Whitten said.
Susan Gentille, marketing and development director, is very thankful for the generosity of the community who made it possible to raise enough funds for the new education wing and pavilion.
“It’s definitely a community effort to make this happen and we are very appreciative of our donors and stakeholders for helping us,” Gentille said. “This is a dream for us.”
Whitten hopes more artists visit and take advantage of the art center’s resources, as well as try out the new glassblowing program.
“You can only stay home and watch how to do something so many times on YouTube...” Whitten said. “But the whole idea behind the glass program and the ceramics program is that you need skills and industrial equipment, fire, flames and excitement… It’s high energy, and you can’t do this at home in your oven.”
Construction is set to finish by September and before fall classes begin. In the meantime, visitors can still enjoy what the Mansfield Art Center has to offer by attending the Ohio Plein Air Society Annual Exhibition starting from July 1 to July 26 that goes from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. All visitors are required to wear masks and practice social distancing.
Visit mansfieldartcenter.org for more details.