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Friday, May 6, 2016

Artistic haven

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

This piece of art, created by Edie Richards, is one of many on display at the former Masonic Lodge, located on North Walnut Street, Brazil. [Order this photo]
Building owner giving back to community

For almost 100 years, the building served as the Brazil Masonic Temple.

But recently, several changes have been taking place at the location on North Walnut Street.

During the weekend, artists gathered at the building, which serves as the home of Zachariah Chambers, for a fundraising effort for the community.

"It was an idea that kept coming together and (finalized) about two weeks before the (Covered) Bridge Festival," said Edie Richards, who also utilizes the building as an art studio. "Our idea was to get the artist network together."

The idea branched into something further as well. The two decided to put together the first of what they hope will be three annual events.

During the weekend, "Celebration of Arts and Soul," took place within the building, bringing together 16 vendors and providing a blend of artists, musicians, body workers, and readers, among others.

Richards said the event drew artists from Bloomington, Indianapolis and Marshall, Ill. She also displayed her own artwork as did local artist Charles Girton, owner of Intarsia -- Artistry in Wood.

"We wanted to try to get more local artists together," Richards said.

Proceeds from the event were collected for the Clay County Food Pantry. Richards said the food items would be delivered to the pantry today.

"It's a community effort," she said.

Chambers said he's lived in the building since May 2007. A Mason himself and an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Chambers said he wanted to purchase the approximate 12,000-square foot building but was unsure what to do with it.

The idea of displaying artwork in the building's second floor area came after lengthy discussion with other artists in the area.

"We were trying to figure out what would be an appropriate use of the space," he said. "I think it's a great opportunity for local artists. I think this will help bind the art community and give them a focal point.

"Being a first-time event, people were wondering (if it would happen)."

Chambers said the building has three floors, although the third floor is a balcony overlooking the lodge room.

He added there is major work to be done to the building still, which could take years.

"He was very lucky to have gotten this place," Richards said.

Richards said because the weekend event was a success, plans are in the works for possibly two more fundraising events, including one for a spay/neuter clinic and another fund for continued training for local law enforcement K-9 officers.

She added plans are being made to put together a possible artistic scholarship fund.

"There's not really a lot of places to display work (around here)," Richards said. "But there's many people around that have a lot of talent.

This art, created by Intarsia -- Artistry in Wood owner Charles Girton, was also on display. [Order this photo]
"Giving back to the community, I think, is a good thing."

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