Carnegie Studios’ artists open for business


Joanna Gall stands outside the Carnegie Library where seven artists, including Gall, have set up studios. Photo by Mary Kay McPartlin.

The seven artists of the Carnegie Library officially opened their gallery space for public viewing and sales on Saturdays in October to help with local holiday gift giving. Jane Richard, Susan Amstutz, Joanna Gall, Sherry Peterson, Suzanne French-Willis, Susan Aitken and Keith Nelson all rent artist space in the building, and share the gallery in the center of the library.

The former library has undergone major renovations over the past five years since the Tecumseh Carnegie Preservation League (TCPL) purchased the building from attorney Gary Baldwin. The most recent update was a poured concrete floor in the basement, which was completed earlier this month.

“It looks nice and takes away the musty smell,” said Jan Salisbury, member of the TCPL advisory board.

One goal for the TCPL was to increase the artist workspace in the building by utilizing the basement area. The new floor opens up more possibilities for the building, which could include more studios and gallery space.

“We’re discussing several options,” Salisbury said. “It depends on what is needed by the community. We have a committee working on the possibilities. It’s exciting.”

New flooring and track lighting in 2014 enhanced the entryway of the building, and gave the artists a gallery for special exhibitions, including Christmas items. Artist-in-residence Gall has appreciated the artist community at the Carnegie where she creates her watercolor paintings.

“It’s nice to come and share ideas and get feedback,” Gall said.

Having a dedicated place to create and sell art pieces has been a positive experience for Gall, who got interested in art in high school. Working out of her home means always having to pack up works-in-progress after a session, while the studio offers more work flexibility.

“You can leave things as they are,” said Gall. “You can let them breathe and wait for inspiration.”

The artists had a good response to Saturday hours and sales of items displayed in the gallery. Visitors not only had access to affordable gifts, but often learned the history of the building as well as the recent renovation work done by TCPL.

The building was originally dedicated on February 10, 1905. The Tecumseh School District applied for and was awarded a $10,000 Carnegie Foundation grant in 1903 to build a public library.

Tecumseh School District owned the building until 2002 when it was sold to Baldwin. It served as the local library until 1962, when the new Tecumseh District Library was built. The district then used the building for its administrative offices and finally as storage before it stood vacant.

The TCPL was initiated by Richard Johnson, owner of Evans Street Station and former Mayor of Tecumseh.

December 19 was the last day for Saturday hours at the Carnegie gallery until after the holidays, when it reopens again from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Tecumseh Herald


110 E. Logan St.
P.O. Box 218
Tecumseh, MI 49286

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