Mar 30

AUTHOR: Jasmine Bejar
Stories of Impact


Art & You: Alexandra Hall

AU-080_ArtsUnited_website_slider_Alexandra Hall

Every arts organization, community, project, etc. has one commonality at its core: the artist. This person creates out of self-expression; this person creates to unite others. This creation enriches our human experience—it tells our stories and gives us deeper understandings of ourselves and the world we live in.

But artists aren’t just artists anymore; they’ve made a full-fledged transition into what we like to call the “rise of the creative entrepreneur.” They’re developing and running businesses based on their artistic callings.  No matter what level of high-performance a community achieves, we can’t forget about the core—the artist. And a whopping 18,834 workers are employed in the creative sector in Northeast Indiana (4.5% of all Northeast Indiana jobs). Of this group, 7,031 are self-employed workers (8.6% of all Northeast Indiana self-employed workers). The individual artist is a key component in any arts community, and just as important to an artist’s presence in a community is their viability to make a living off of their work.

FWA EXHIBITION 2016Local artist Alexandra Hall lives the importance of supporting our creative entrepreneurs so that they stay in our community and continue to lend to the vibrancy that is so important to quality of place.

Alex owns her own gallery located in the city exchange shops. You may be familiar with her fun and bright work, inspired by the mundane, the absurd, human nature, often displayed in other local galleries such as Artlink Contemporary Gallery and Jennifer Ford Art or at the annual Taste of the Arts Festival.

As northeast Indiana makes significant strides in staking its claim as a national destination for arts and culture, Alex foresees success in the visual arts as murals as statues throughout the city, a profitable gallery district, comprehensive and dynamic art courses for children and adults offered through numerous organizations, and, most importantly, homes filled with locally made artwork so that working artists can in fact live off of their work without the need for additional sources of income. Viability in arts and culture in our community begins at the individual level, allowing oneself to create, experience and partake in the stories told through the various forms of art.

Alex believes that projects such as a downtown co-op artists community with living/working spaces, where artists can buy and own a gallery space and sell directly to buyers, would both  increase collaboration and growth among artists while simultaneously bringing the general community closer to the creation.

Alexandra Hall_Portrait Copyright 2016 Alexndra Hall (1)Alex is currently working on a community mural project that she says could be the beginning of a larger downtown mural walk, which involves partnerships between local business owners and artists to continue to develop an attractive and vibrant city. “Projects like these help prevent the creative brain drain and stagnation that so many communities experience.”

At any level, art is impactful. It creates connections and opportunities for the entire community. Supporting our artists is an integral part of continuing our momentum in the entire city. Alex defends, “While the local community has been supportive, the movement to buy local pieces and support local arts is still in its infancy here.”

“There is often a disconnect between the arts and the significant effect art has on society. Not only does art help us to define and express our culture, it also paves way for conversation, original thought, innovation and growth. Where there is a strong arts community there is a stronger economy and a more innovative population. The value of art to a community isn’t quantifiable; it is priceless.”

You can support your local economy by purchasing artwork at places like Artlink and Jennifer Ford Art or in Alex’s gallery, but you can also purchase local artwork at Fort Wayne Museum of Art’s Paradigm Gallery, Wunderkammer Company, Hedgehog Press, or even on the walls of some of your favorite restaurants and coffee shops like Fortezza Coffee and Dash-In.