View some art and do some art

Published 3:11 pm Monday, November 18, 2013

Mount Williamson, The Sierra Nevada, from Manzanar, California, 1945. Submitted photo

Mount Williamson, The Sierra Nevada, from Manzanar, California, 1945. Submitted photo

November in Michiana can be rainy, cold, and dreary at times, but The South Bend Museum of Art provides visitors with “a sanctuary, a kind of spa for the brain,” according to Peg Luecke, Director of Marketing for the museum.

Located in the Century Center, 120 St. Joseph Street, in downtown South Bend, the museum offers exhibitions, a permanent collection, and a variety of workshops, enabling visitors to “enter a whole different world; (it is) a visual field trip that can transport you into a beautiful place,” said Luecke.

Current exhibitions include “Ansel Adams: Masterworks,” featuring the photography of one of America’s best-known landscape photographers. This exhibition (organized by Turtle Bay Exploration Park, Redding, Calif., in association with Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, Calif.) provides an excellent opportunity for patrons to view some of Adams’ most famous and well-loved photographs in person. The exhibition runs from Nov. 1, 2013 through Jan 12, 2014.

A second exhibition, “Somewhere There: The Role of Place in the Work of Four Local Photographers” provides viewers with what Luecke called “an interesting corollary to the Ansel Adams show.”

“Adams’ photographs were all about place. These are four photographers that have put information in there about place as well,” Luecke said.

Luecke explained that while some of the photographs offer new insights into what may be the familiar surroundings of South Bend and Northern Indiana, others take a more international approach to the role of place in photography.

And, of course, there is the museum’s permanent collection, which includes works that have been acquired over the past 60 years. Featured among them are both locally- and regionally-celebrated artists, including members of the Hoosier School of Impressionists, who, as Luecke explained, were “based in southern Indiana (and) were inspired by the Impressionist movement in Europe.”

The SBMA also provides a variety of ways for patrons to explore their own creative side as well. Luecke hopes that residents of the Michiana area will take advantage of the many different classes and workshops that the museum has scheduled. A new season of workshops will begin on Nov. 18, with classes in painting, drawing, and fiber arts among the offerings for adults. Youth art classes include opportunities for kids to work with a variety of media.

One fun way to get involved in creating art is to take advantage of the “Date Night” workshops offered by the museum. Luecke thinks these would be a great way to spend an evening with a significant other or with a first date.

“It would provide a great framework for a first date. It would kind of fill in what you’re doing and be fun. And, we’re in downtown, right in the middle of things,” Luecke said. She added that there are many restaurants and other date locations nearby the art gallery.

“Date Night in the Clay Studio” takes place on select Friday evenings from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., including Nov. 22, Dec. 6, and Dec. 13.

Finally, the museum’s Dot Shop also provides guests with the opportunity to shop locally and support local artists at the same time. They offer a selection of original paintings, jewelry, fiber arts, ceramics, and even garden ornaments. Members of the museum receive a 10% discount on purchases, as well as free admission to the museum.

The museum’s exhibits and the Dot Shop are open Wednesdays through Sundays, from 12 to 5 p.m. (closed Mondays and Tuesdays and on major holidays). Interested parties can visit their website at or call (574) 235-9102 for more information and to register for workshops.