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ArtHaus moves to a new location

Posted: Tue, Sep 3, 2019 9:19 AM
ArtHaus co-founder Lea Lovelace helps put up the original ArtHaus sign in the new space with volunteer Dale Kittleson. Dale's handiwork has been present in both ArtHaus locations.

ArtHaus has moved from its location on Water Street to the corner of Washington and Broadway, the location formerly known as the Wonder Bread or Spectrum Thrift Shop. The move comes after 10 years of renting space from the Vesterheim Museum.

"Vesterheim is working on some changes and needed to reclaim their spaces," says Arthaus director Shannon Dallenbach Durbin. "We [ArtHaus] were running out of space and were looking for something bigger. Our new location is a perfect fit."

Durbin and the ArtHaus board worked with Pete and Kari Espinosa to help secure the building for ArtHaus. "ArtHaus is a special and unique place. The things they do are prime examples of what makes Decorah different from other places.  My wife and I were happy to assist ArtHaus in securing an improved location to further extend their services and continue making their creative mark on our young people and our community as a whole," says Pete Espinosa.

During the month of August several volunteers helped clean, paint, and move the masses of art supplies to the new location. ArtHaus has resumed its regular office hours of 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Afterschool programs will start next week. The phone number, webpage and email remain the same.

A $5,000 grant from the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Arts Fund, was used to help with the move. "This income was used to help with moving expenses, such as a Uhaul and movers. We also put it toward new signs and marketing materials with our new address on it," says Durbin.
160 artists and organizations received more than $1.5 million in grants through the Iowa Arts Council. The funds are part of the $2.1 million in grant awards announced by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs to support art, film, history and culture across the state. The funding will help grant recipients boost quality of life and promote economic growth in and around their communities vital factors that business leaders, families and millennials consider when choosing where to set up shop or settle down to live, work and play.

In addition to the weekly after school art and creativity classes, ArtHaus is bringing clay back into its lineup with Mud Club. Rachelle Branum of The Clay Studio started her business through ArtHaus over 10 years ago, and now she is assisting with incorporating clay back into the ArtHaus lineup.

ArtHaus is working to make its new space a place where Decorah residents can not only create, but also inspire. "Sharing creativity is at our core," says Durbin, "We are working to create a gallery space for people to share their visual work, and later down the road, a performance space for people to share this type of work." Durbin says ArtHaus is working on the building in phases. Phase 1 includes updating the "middle bay" studio space to have natural lighting, convenient wash spaces, and ample work spaces. Phase 2 is creating a gallery space with a permanent shop for local craftsman and artists, as well as solo and group show exhibit areas. While this gallery space is under construction, ArtHaus will host its larger art shows in alternate locations around town.

The annual Preview Show of the Northeast Iowa Studio Tour Artists will be on display at Impact Coffee Shop during the month of September, and the Emerging Artist's Best of Show - Solo Show artist Morgan Seeman will have her work on display at Rubaiyat later in the year.

Brendan Torkelson, son of ArtHaus Board President Megan Torkelson, washes windows in the old ArtHaus location.
Volunteers Melissa Koch and Jo Iverson assist in painting the walls of the new classroom space.
A double rainbow shines above the new sign at the 107 West Broadway location.