Art venues reflect on IDS coverage through the years, offer advice for future

The arts community of Bloomington includes a wide variety of spaces to celebrate the arts, from the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, which presents a variety of musicians, speakers and more, to the various concert venues celebrating all types of music, all the way through to the galleries full of pieces by students, community members and beyond.

Through the years the Indiana Daily Student has widened coverage to many of these areas.

Mathers Museum of World Cultures, which has been exhibiting in connection with the University since 1965, frequently is host to arts-related programming.

Sarah Hatcher, head of education and programs with the museum, said the space allows students and community members to see that the larger institution considers arts an important part of student life.

“The IDS is a critical piece of letting students know what arts and culture opportunities are available in Bloomington,” Hatcher said. “By providing coverage of our events and activities you are showing that the IDS and by extension, IU, really values the arts and culture.”

Dave Colman, curator of The Venue Fine Art & Gifts, said from the perspective of the curator of an art gallery, the past three years have been filled with well-done coverage.

“Support from the IDS for The Venue has been consistent, and at a high journalistic level,” Colman said. “Our events and openings have received quality coverage with excellent writing and creative photography. We have received coverage we could never have afforded to purchase.”

Talia Halliday, owner of Gather Handmade Shoppe & Co., a relatively new art venue and shop of local crafts, said the IDS has always sent someone to the venue to celebrate new exhibits opening.

“The IDS has always been great about coming to the shop on gallery walk night and interviewing the artist and talking to them about their work, which I think is amazing,” Halliday said. “It always helps the artist to know that our local community is taking stock of what they are doing. I always see stuff coming into the store throughout the month as well, which is awesome.”

In terms of what Hatcher said the newspaper could improve upon in the next few years, follow-up with sucessful alumni who are working in the world of art is a start.

Colman said he would love to see more attendance from younger community members at The Venue’s events throughout the year.

“If the coverage included more of a call to action to attend the events, it might move more students to be willing to travel off campus to more art events,” he said.

In the future, Halliday said she hopes the newspaper covers art venues even before they have planned programming. To her, coverage before an event or even just highlighting the spaces when nothing is happening are just as important as attending on big nights.

“It would be really great if the IDS could somehow partner with some local arts organizations to really promote getting college students involved in the downtown economy and getting them past Kirkwood and onto the square — making them aware of what’s available to them,” Halliday said. “Primarily to focus on arts everyday, instead of being so events-focused.”

Check out these other stories about the IDS's 150th year:

IDS celebrates 150 years of news writing

150 years of headlines

Past editors-in-chief discuss their time at the IDS

Bloomington residents share thoughts about IDS

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