Living With History, Part 2

In my blog article, Living With History (April 9, 2013), I described the origins of the Cyrus Allen Building, the Greek Revival structure where Art Space Vincennes is housed at 521 Main Street. That was written before much work was accomplished until the end of last summer. Now it is 2014 and I think it is high time for another tour, because the interior is considerably refined and adapted for displaying and viewing high quality works of art.


Office and Gallery 1 from the hallway entrance. Galleries 2 and 4 are almost exactly like this room. Gallery 2 also has a paper cabinet, which can be used as a display surface or a bare piece of furniture near the windows away from the walls where art would be hung. Curtains are removed in two other galleries and replaced by simpler drop down folding shades. Below is a view looking back the opposite way. To the far left is the hallway door from where the above photo was taken.  To the far right is another door that leads to Gallery 3.

Gallery 1b

The exhibition spaces we call galleries are made up of the four rooms downstairs and the hallway that runs through the middle of the building. We installed solid maple floors in the four galleries and new lighting on the 10-plus foot ceilings. The hallway has a new ceramic tile floor to take the abuse of wet weather debris brought in by visitors, saving the wood floors from damage. Both the tile and the maple floor work well with each other as they meet in the gallery doorways and with the carefully chosen neutral gray paint on the walls. The original nature of the architecture has not changed and becomes more apparent when we remove the sheer curtains for most exhibitions to enable viewing of the artwork without distraction.

Furnishings are sparse, again to avoid competition with the art and to make room for occasional three dimensional works for some exhibitions. The lights are magical, as they enable the most truly balanced color spectrum of light technically possible for illuminating paintings.

Galleries 2 and 3

Galleries 2 and 4 adjoin by a door as Galleries 1 and 3 do. Here a Christmas Creche installation continues from one gallery to the next, suggesting potential ways to use the space with installations, three-dimensional objects and performances.

Visitors last fall marveled as much about the restoration as they did about the quality of the art they saw. Many returned multiple times to see the space and the art. We are appreciative of those who have visited Art Space Vincennes, and given their high praises. Several people have called Art Space Vincennes a little gem in our town. It is because we have tried to preserve history and combine it with the highest quality contemporary art we can bring to Vincennes. We are beginning to reach out to areas well beyond Vincennes.

Gallery 3

Gallery 3 is different from the other galleries because a built-in cabinet fills one corner and a door leading to a “summer kitchen” and sculpture studio area breaks up one wall. Here one of three paintings in the room, called Growth Surrounds the River and the Desert by Trang T. Le of California, hangs over the mantel.




Like a museum, guests are welcome to browse any time during open hours without charge, and like any commercial gallery, works are for sale. We also offer a rental and sales service for our own art, light restoration services for art you may need to rehabilitate, and conservation services to keep your art stabilized and safe. Charges will be reasonable and well worth the preservation of objects you may already own.  An hour of research and estimates are free.

Sales will ensure that we can continue to make this valuable resource available to all in Vincennes and the Tristate.

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