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This historic former funeral home has been transformed into a single family home at 214 Division St. This property is among several being highlighted Wednesday during ArtWalk in downtown Elkhart from 5 to 8 p.m. (Dan Spalding/The Elkhart Truth)

Artwork by Marvin Bartel is one of many displays planned for ArtWalk on Wednesday, May 14. Bartel's work will be featured at the Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce, 418 S. Main St.
Elkhart's ArtWalk will have art galore plus a spotlight on State and Division
Posted on May 12, 2014 at 6:45 p.m.

ELKHART — If Zach DuBois and 18 artists aren’t enough, organizers of Elkhart’s first ArtWalk of the year have other offerings set for Wednesday evening, May 14.

Organizer Steve Gruber calls it the “Mother of All ArtWalks” because of the wide variety of offerings on South Main and the Civic Plaza.

While there will be plenty to see along the downtown business district, officials are hoping spectators will check out the “Livin it Up” block party in the nearby residential offshoot widely known as the historic State Division neighborhood.

Improving State and Division has been a goal of SoMa, the downtown revitalization group that was launched several years ago by Mayor Dick Moore.

In July, 2012, SoMa spotlighted the potential of the neighborhood, and Wednesday will be a chance to see how things have progressed.

Numerous investors have renovated homes, including a historic structure at 214 Division St. known by many as the 1868 Sage House mansion. A couple from central Indiana has been working with Indiana Landmarks Association to extensively renovate the property into a single family dwelling.

Those touring the streets will also have a chance to check out the renovations to the Lifeline Youth for Christ facility on State Street, which was one of three buildings significantly damaged by a fire in September 2012.

The building has been renovated and staff will be at the gym and across the street at the organization’s intern house.

At 201 Division St., Downtown Elkhart Inc. will showcase a handful of properties that it is renovating.

Seven properties will host open houses Wednesday along the two streets as a part of ArtWalk, said Dan Boecher, executive director of DEI.

Back on South Main, DuBois, a local singer with a country sound, will be performing at the Civic Plaza beginning at 5:30 p.m.

DuBois will likely be promoting the release of a new CD. He’s slated to perform at the Lerner on June 27 in support of the release.

On Wednesday, 18 artists will display their wares in 16 locations along South Main Street. They’ll be joined by 18 street performers.

Gruber’s especially pleased with the lineup of artists.

“A couple of these are some of the best we’ve ever had,” Gruber said.

At the top of that list is Dr. Marvin Bartel, Goshen College professor emeritus, whose ceramic sculpture and functional pottery will be on display at the Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce offices.

“It looks like a museum in there right now,” Gruber said.

Wednesday is also a chance to check out the new Arts on Main Studios and Gallery, 205 S. Main St., where two artists will be featured.

2014 marks ArtWalk’s fourth year in downtown Elkhart.

Other upcoming ArtWalk dates are July 9, Oct. 8 and Dec. 10.

“People are starting to understand that this is a great place to go buy gifts for loved ones,” Gruber said.