The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Aug. 19, 2022

Wassenberg breaks ground on Art Park

Not only did we break ground on the Wassenberg Art Park with a vengeance this week, most of the asphalt is dug up and the shapes are already taking form. This is going to go fast!

Economic based study models vary; however, the arts industry is currently attributed to $780 billion annually in the United States. That is more than the toy industry at $24 billion, and more than the home appliance industry at $17 billion.

Contractors from Alexander & Bebout begin cutting the asphalt in the unused parking lot behind the Wassenberg Art Center during the “Ground-sawing Ceremony Tuesday morning.

While the arts industry doesn’t possess smokestacks, the arts are, without question, an industry. Difficult to ideate in black and white, real-world dollars, the arts can come in at the forefront as economic game changers or, passively follow along and support longevity as well.

We’ve chosen the former. Simply, because leveraging the arts as a game changer is happening right now, right here, at the Wassenberg Art Center. The landscape of this tiny rust-belt town is rising, due to committed residents, corporations, quiet donors, and an active main street program. This has all happened from the unassuming power of one small community art center.

Where do you want to be in our renaissance?

We have with us today these visionaries who make economic revival through the arts happen. They are the true heroes, We have folks who have committed $20 up to $175,000.

We wholeheartedly thank the staff of the Wassenberg Art Center, our Board of Directors, The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, Central Mutual Insurance, First Federal Savings and Loan, Kenn-Feld Group, Alexander and Bebout Construction, Current Energy Solutions, Van Wert County Foundation, the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District, Mike and Joyce Cross, and the 60-plus residents of the Van Wert region for contributing to and believing in our mission.

We will never be able to thank you in a true sense. Just know you all are community spirit, and it wouldn’t have happened without you.

This Sunday we open the Annual High School Invitational! We have opened the competition up to new schools and wow. The work is stunning! Please join us for our opening party on April 22, 1-5 p.m. Awards will be presented around 2:30.

Speaking of art that rocks…after the awards, we will be pleased to present Radithor, for a short rock concert. Radithor is a band comprised of 6) high school freshman from Lake High School in Millbury, Ohio. (yes, they have had similar tornado issues in years past too) Radithor was selected to compete in the prestigious, national music competition; 2018 Tri-C annual High School Rock Off at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. It will be fun to watch these musicians grow and hopefully inspire other young musicians to start a band, or play out. Please join us for free munchies, great art and a chance to watch these young 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.

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

POSTED: 04/19/18 at 8:18 am. FILED UNDER: What's Up at Wassenberg?