Elkhart County is a manufacturing powerhouse, and its heritage has deep roots in agriculture. But that’s not all we have to offer.
Elkhart County’s cities and towns and rural spaces have a vibrant arts scene. Craftsmanship is on full display from our diverse array of makers, each with their unique story on how they developed their craft as artists, potters, quilters, woodworkers and more.
Events including the Elkhart ArtWalk and Goshen’s Arts on the Millrace draw arts enthusiasts from near and far – an economic plus. Elkhart County is home to both experienced artists and those learning their craft.
The goal of the Elkhart Art League is to “elevate the art standards of our community and foster a deeper appreciation of art.” Through the League, people are encouraged to develop their artistic abilities to the fullest. Classes and workshops help achieve that mission, and the League also holds two major exhibits every year.
The Elkhart Art League’s history dates back to 1925, when it was formed as the Artists’ Traveling Association. In early 2017, the League moved to The Depot at 131 Tyler Street.
For local creatives wanting to learn more about their craft, Goshen is the place to be. Specifically, Goshen’s art guilds are centrally located at 212 W. Washington Street.
- The Goshen Clay Artists Guild got its start in 1998 when several local artists joined to share studio space, ideas, and techniques.
- The Goshen Painters’ Guild, according to its website, is “an active group of artists working in representational to abstract styles of painting as well as most media.”
- Founded on March 1, 2012, the Goshen Jewelers Guild offers studio space for metals/jewelry artisans to work, create community, and to educate.
- When you come across a random piece of wood, do you see artistic potential? For you, Goshen has a Woodworkers Guild.
- The Photographers Guild is “a group of like-minded photography professionals, hobbyists, and enthusiasts sharing the goal of learning, inspiring, and broadening the art of photography.”
Also in Goshen, a downtown building boasts both a storefront and an artistic showcase. Founded in 2013, The Local gallery-boutique highlights the work of more than 60 fine artists from Goshen and the surrounding area.
“We’ve worked hard to make sure that the programming at The Local Co. 132 is built for artists at every stage of their career,” reads The Local’s website. “Early-career artists, mid-career artists, and well-established artists. No exceptions.”
The Nappanee Arts Council has mounted public art displays featuring sculptures of flowers and dogs in each of the last two years. For 2020, the artists are hard at work on Le Tour de Nappanee.
What comes to mind when Middlebury is mentioned? Perhaps RVs and the Amish? Add arts to the list, and the Middlebury Arts Council.
“The Arts Council’s mission is to bring people together to collaborate on innovative ideas and creative solutions that inspire community engagement and economic vitality within the town of Middlebury,” reads an inMiddlebury article by Carrie Joy Beachey. “…The Arts Council is working to build services and programs that support area makers, helping to make their artisanal goods available and easy to find.”