The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022

Groundbreaking for park project nears

We are one week away from breaking ground on the Wassenberg Art Park on April 17; join us! We are excited to see construction materials arriving, like concrete reinforcement material and boulders for our seat wall! The arts contribute $780 million annually to the American economy and we get this; and eventually our efforts will continue to move Van Wert into a vibrant, creative place to live and visit.

This week, WAC Office Manager Matt Temple, Facility and Event Coordinator Joe Balyeat, and I are en route to Grand Rapids, Michigan, to return the last exhibit “Bark vs. Roar” by student artist Jordyn Fishman. Grand Rapids has used an arts-based economy to turn around the city’s financial challenges by introducing one of the world’s largest annual art competitions: ArtPrize. Artists the world over participate and the entire city is the venue in which the art is exhibited. Now in its 10th year, ArtPrize has completely changed the face of the community to a vibrant place with a soaring population.

Radithor, freshman rock band from Lake High School, will be featured at the annual High School Invitational opening party at the Wassenberg Art Center, April 22. Entry is free and always open to the public.

No, this concept is not new or novel. The arts have been attributed and solely credited for countless communities’ positive turnarounds. All it takes is for a few creative minds to come together and some scrappy thinking, Hmmmm, I wonder if we have any of that going on in Van Wert. The answer is: absolutely. Coming up very soon will be the annual High School Invitational. We have extended the invitation to a few more schools this year to amp up the ante! The opening party will be April 22, 1- 5 p.m. Awards will be presented around 2:30 that afternoon.

Speaking of amp … after the awards, we will be pleased to present Radithor for a short rock concert. Radithor is a band comprised of six high school freshmen from Lake High School in Millbury (yes, they have had their tornado issues in years past, too). Radithor was selected to compete in the prestigious national music competition: Tri-C Annual High School Rock Off at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. It will be fun to watch these musicians grow and inspire other young musicians to reach for the stars.

Please join us for free munchies, great art, and a chance to watch these talented musicians. Free entry, open to the public, as always.

Art Classes:

Classic Watercolor:  Tuesday mornings from 10 a.m.-noon. Ongoing. $40 art center member price/$45 regular price. Instructor: Pat Rayman. Materials required. Online sign up available.

ArtReach: We have openings available in both age groups and you can sign up anytime. Tuesdays (ages 7-11) and Thursdays (11 and up) 3:30-5 p.m. We are currently accepting students for this great, stress free after-school art program. Sign up forms are available online at or at the Wassenberg Art Center office.

ArtNight: Instructor will be Shannon Painter-Carpenter and sometimes we feature other instructors. You are also welcome to bring your own project or sign up for the project we feature. We have some great projects coming up beginning next week, so be watching social media. Enjoy a glass of wine or beer while you are here, hang out with friends, create and relax.

ArtNight! April 26 — Flower Pot Mosaics: This class will show you how to transform a flower pot into a lovely mosaic work of art! This demonstration will take up to 3 sessions. Cost will be $15 for the project which includes your first beverage.

For more information on exhibits or to sign up for classes and events visit: The Wassenberg Art Center is located at 214 S. Washington St. (former Van Wert Armory). We can also be reached by telephone at 419.238.6837, or by email at

POSTED: 04/12/18 at 8:08 am. FILED UNDER: What's Up at Wassenberg?