ELKHART — When the Lerner Theatre needed art, they only had to go a few blocks away.
The Midwest Museum of American Art and the Lerner collaborated on a project to get art into the theater. At first, the theater asked if the museum would be willing to loan its private collection.
But museum director Jane Burns had another idea: to contact artists directly and ask them to donate their work. They contacted about 500 artists and after receiving their responses, decided which works would be appropriate for the Lerner.
“That’s what curating is, trying to find the right work for the right place and making everyone happy,” said museum curator Brian Byrn.
He said the project took almost a year to pull together, from contacting artists to installing their pieces in the Lerner. The 50 or so pieces given by the 41 artists are all hung in public areas, where visitors can see them.
“Jane said they get to see fine art and great performances side by side,” Byrn said.
While the hard part is done for the museum, they will make sure that the pieces continue to thrive in the Lerner.
“We have this ongoing monitoring of this collection,” Byrn said. “Their work’s not going to lapse into obscurity.”