Meet the Clark Gallery: Increasing access to creative culture and art in rural Indiana

Honeywell Arts & Entertainment’s primary venue is the Honeywell Center, located in downtown Wabash and widely known for hosting performing arts talent on the Ford Theater stage. An unexpected surprise for most visitors, however, is when you enter the theater. Housed on a curved wall that borders the main lobby and theater is the Clark Gallery, a visual art exhibition space. 
Students explore the Clark Gallery on a field trip.
The Clark Gallery is named after the Kim Clark family. Kim Clark was a Wabash businessman for many years and while he excelled in business, he was also a talented artist. His commitment to art shines through the Clark Gallery, which is a resource for the community, offering access to visual art and supporting local and regional artists. The gallery regularly hosts art competitions including the upcoming 92 County Art Show, which opens for submissions in early January. The competition is specifically for anyone living in the state of Indiana and invites amateurs, students, and professional artists to participate. 

“It’s exciting for people who are just starting or who are amateur artists, to have their pieces selected and put on the wall,” says Carolyn Stoner, Director of Arts for Honeywell Arts & Entertainment. “We also have many professional artists who bring their pieces, and I think that adds to the prestige of it and gives us really nice diversity on the walls. There’s a place for everybody.” 

Artists can submit applications and artwork (painting, drawing, and other art forms – excluding photography) to the Honeywell Center for judging on Jan. 3 from 11 a.m. to noon, and from 5 to 7 p.m. Selected winning artists will be notified, and roughly 50 artists will be chosen to be on display from Jan. 5 to Feb. 12. 

The Clark Gallery, located in the Honeywell Center.The Clark Gallery also hosts a photography competition, which Stoner says is one of their most popular competitions. Other exhibits scattered throughout the year feature a single artist’s work. 

“We primarily focus on regional artists,” Stoner says. “We try to provide a wide range of topics, styles, and things that are familiar as well as unfamiliar.” 

From Feb. 15 to March 12, Jared Christiansen’s exhibit, “Taking Me Back,” will be shown. He photographed the new Lutheran Hospital in downtown Fort Wayne, and his work is shown throughout the building. His portraits, abstract, nature, architecture, and landscape photography are on display at other businesses, restaurants, offices, and other hospitals regionally. 

Before an event starts, visitors at the Honeywell Center can explore the Clark Gallery.While art galleries, museums, and other performing arts centers are much more frequent in larger metropolitan cities, the Honeywell Center and Clark Gallery can give people an access point closer to home. 

“We have the unique opportunity of a gallery being in a public space,” Stoner says. “This is not a museum or gallery trying to sell art for thousands of dollars. Our gallery is in the center of the building. Anybody who comes to the Center has an opportunity to be experience art.” 

The Clark Gallery is open during Honeywell Center's regular hours: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and two hours before any show in the Ford Theater. Art is available for purchase as well.

Wabash is the focus of a Partner City series in Input Fort Wayne underwritten by Visit Wabash County and Honeywell Arts & Entertainment. This series will capture the story of talent, creativity, investment, innovation, and emerging assets shaping the future of Wabash County, about an hour Southwest of Fort Wayne.