With the coming expansion and renovation of Kan Du Studios, Findlay residents can look forward to a hands-on arts facility just a hop, skip and a jump from the new Marathon Performing Arts Center.
“Our community is unique in that it is very culturally driven,” said Tim Stumpp, who is heading up the Kan Du Studio project. “I think this is a perfect opportunity for us to meld with the community by continuing to enhance awareness of some really great artists. It is well known that there is an art community downtown and we will continue to build that.”
Kan Du can do
Kan Du, operated by the Blanchard Valley Center in Findlay, received about $520,000 in capital grant funds from the State of Ohio for the project. The studio opened in 2007 as a way for people with developmental disabilities to express themselves through the visual arts. They will move from 329 S. Main St. to the former Rocking U on West Main Cross Street, a site chosen for its proximity to the new Marathon Performing Arts Center and downtown Findlay.
Kan Du Studios opened in 2010 and features independent local artists and exhibits throughout the year. The studio, while thriving, developed a bit of a problem —not enough space.
“When we got into this location, we thought it was a huge space, and it was,” said Connie Amernt, superintendent of Blanchard Valley Center. “But we’ve quickly outgrown our current space.”
Building a plan
Long term plans for Kan Du studio call for showroom expansion and the inclusion of art studios conducive to inspire local artists. “There’s an opportunity for inclusion. People can walk by and stop in,” Ament said. “We love being a part of downtown now and we wanted to maintain that. The arts are a big part of Findlay life. People are looking to see what’s available in the community for everyone.”
Construction is slated through spring 2016. Once the new location is established, Phase II will begin which will renovate the second floor and west building for additional studio space to continue to build Findlay’s reputation as a community that welcomes the arts.
“I’d really like to see people get more involved to either view the work here or actually work here” said Rebecca Combs, Kan Du Manager, “We’re hoping that we can continue building relationships with the schools by having the students here to help with projects” said Combs.
If you would like to volunteer with Kan Du Studio or donate materials for the renovation,
you can contact them at 419-581-0254