The infusion of art in a community speaks to both the economic vitality of a city and how the community sees itself.
As City and Chamber leaders May 15 cut the ribbon on Dowagiac's newest gallery, Art Found, owner Steve Roll and his wife, Mary Rose, were greeted with open arms.
"II have watched this town unfold and grow for the past 20 years," Mayor Lyons said. "I became immersed into the culture of art through the Dogwood Festival, which has turned this town into a city that embraces the arts. Coming from this, has been a new and uplifting attitude in terms of how our community views itself."
Chamber President Kim MacGregor of Edward Jones said the City has worked hard to establish a niche of specialty shops, and fine & casual dining, with art now becoming the third leg of the economic stool.
Transformation of the former site of Benny's Barbershop into the upscale gallery was a work of passion, which Steve took on as a winter-long project. Exposed brick and wood planked walls, against the original tin-pressed ceiling lends itself well as an open canvas for Steve's mixed-media assemblage, 3-D wall images and free-standing juxtapositions. Even the walls of the gallery speak to his passion for using found things with the inclusion of 1885 barn wood that highlights portions of the space.
"I couldn't be happier with the building," Mayor Lyons told Steve. "You have done a marvelous job."
Art Found, located within the former location of Benny's Barbershop, takes its position as Dowagiac's fifth art-related business within the community, alongside the Dogwood Fine Arts Festival, Art 'enha Suit, Mud-Luscious and Culturfx. .