The Gary and Northwest Indiana community came out to celebrate the grand opening of the ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen on Nov. 19. In a space many hope will lead the way in the continued revitalization of downtown Gary, guests had the opportunity to experience the energetic blend of an art, food and innovation of the project.
The genesis behind this cultural and business idea is Gary’s Economic Development Corporation and Department of Commerce, along with ArtHouse Artistic Director, Theaster Gates. Located at 411 E. 5th Avenue, which is the same building as Mama Pearl’s BBQ, the ArtHouse Culinary Business Incubator (CBI) will be a training and workshop facility for up and coming food businesses that provides access to a commercial training kitchen.
The ArtHouse is focused on creating a space that positively reflects the city of Gary and provides a platform for economic and artistic activity in the downtown area. The first art installation is a solar powered exterior lighting sculpture designed by the artist Ripple + Wilson. Also revealed is a 2,200 square foot commercial grade kitchen with a food demonstration station.
Among those giving remarks were Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and Theaster Gates. They both expressed excitement about the ArtHouse, its future and the future of Gary. The support and partnerships that made it possible included Bloomberg Philanthropies Public, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Place Lab, Harris School of Public Policy Daley Fellowship, and Mama Pearl’s BBQ.
Guests enjoyed complimentary confections from local culinary artists, a free hot apple cider station, musical entertainment from G-B’z and Anointed Voices Choir.