Karis Church to open downtown art gallery, lecture space

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 | 12:14 p.m. CST; updated 4:13 p.m. CST, Thursday, February 27, 2014

© 2014, reprinted with permission.

COLUMBIA — What was once the DreamCatcher studio at 1020 E. Broadway will soon serve as the Imago Gallery & Cultural Center hosted by Karis Church.

The church had been planning on opening a gallery to display local works of art and host lectures, but it wasn’t until the old DreamCatcher space became available that the dream morphed into reality.

“We love the aesthetic of the historic architecture and feel it adds to the creative space,” volunteer center director Brooke Danielsen said. “It is also arranged to meet our needs, allowing for plenty of wall space for a gallery, floor space for events, and a second floor that will house offices.”

Karis Church is no stranger to Columbia's art community.

Since 2011, the church has held a holiday art auction benefiting local nonprofit Love, Inc. The church also started hosting an artist lecture series called Creativity Speaks, which Danielsen said will find a new home at the Imago Center.

“Karis is definitely committed to seeking the good of our city. We also value the arts as a means of reflecting, or imaging, the creativity of God. The Imago Center enables us to pursue both of these values,” Danielsen said.

The center will feature local and regional visual artists, as well as lectures and events that explore cultural issues and artistic concepts.

“So many people are doing such good things in Columbia. We just want to be a part of that,” Pastor Kevin Larson said.

So far, the church has raised more than $10,000 but is still aiming for its original goal of $25,000.

Regardless of whether that goal is met, the opening of the center won’t be affected.

“We are prioritizing remodeling needs based on the funds currently available,” Danielsen said.

For the past three weeks, volunteers have put in 20-30 hours a week renovating the building by rehabilitating the floors, setting up lighting and preparing the main gallery walls.

But right now, the studio space will be the True/False Film Fest’s box office, and the church will not be able to complete flooring renovations until the festival is over. The festival runs Thursday through Sunday.

The first art show to be held at the new Imago Center will be called “Landscape: Idea and Ideal” featuring works by local artists Matt Ballou, Eric Norby, David Spear, Matt Rahner and Megan Schaffer.

The church hopes to open the show on April 25 – the next Artrageous Friday.

Once renovation is complete, the Imago Center will be open daily, but the hours of operation are still being finalized.

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