Arts on Main ready to finish construction in July

Ty Thompson
Press Argus-Courier
Those attending the Art on Main Topping Off Ceremony take the opportunity to sign the cross beam being raised, Tuesday, Dec. 29, at the new Center for Art & Education Arts on Main center, 414 Main Street.

After their topping off construction ceremony held last month, the Center for Art and Education is planning to move into their new building in July. 

"The ceremony went really well," said Jane Owen, the center's executive director. "If everything continues to work like it has been we should be ready to move in by July."

Owen says that although the building will be finished in July, it will not officially open until 2022. This is so they can have months of preparation until they open their doors. They will close their current building in September.

After the move, the center will change its name to Arts on Main to go along with their new building located on Main Street in Van Buren.

The building, sitting next door to the King's Opera House, was remodeled and although the overall look of the old building will remain, the inside will be modernized to lengthen the life of the structure and breathe new life into the facility..

From inside the pottery studio, Van Buren Center for Art & Education Board President, Lisa Huckelbury Fort, front, and John Cooley discuss the CAE Arts on Main building under construction at 414 Main Street, Tuesday, Dec. 29, before the offical CAE Topping Off Ceremony.

A pottery studio, added behind the original building and is almost complete and will add 2,000 square feet to the already 15,000-square-foot building. The pottery studio will have space for 10 pottery wheels, glazing area, kilns and a hand-building space.

Other features of the new space will include a culinary kitchen, spaces dedicated to

children’s art classes, adult workshops and a theater program along with meeting spaces, outdoor gardens and a farm to table teaching garden.

Until then, the Center for Art and Education has been holding virtual classes and private exhibits. They are currently hosting the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith student exhibition that features artwork students. The exhibit will be open through the end of January.

Information about upcoming events can be found on the center's Facebook page under Center for Art and Education, Van Buren.