ArtHouse envisions community collaboration / by ArtHouse Gary

Arleen Peterson only recently began working at ArtHouse, but she came on board with a vision for the city of Gary and has already set out to do the work of engaging the community in support of all that ArtHouse has to offer. Arleen, who works as ArtHouse’s Community Engagement Coordinator, is enthusiastic in sharing her vision. Her title says a lot, but her drive, energy, and dedication speak volumes.

One of Arleen’s goals is to change the perception of the city of Gary and to “change the perception of public art” for the Gary community. In revitalizing Gary, Arleen also stated that the overall transformation will stem from the community’s response. The grand opening of ArtHouse on November 19 will provide an opportunity for people to experience public art. She envisions ArtHouse as “a way to lighten up 5th Avenue,” where it is situated across from the Gary South Shore Railcats’ stadium.

“Nothing is set in stone,” Arleen stated. “The space is designed FOR the community,” she adds, and by engaging the community, she is hoping to gain their input on how to make ArtHouse a great space for them.

ArtHouse will also serve as a culinary business incubator, where those with an interest in a culinary career can gain firsthand knowledge that can help them start a business. By coming in for a tour, culinary entrepreneurs will be able to see how ArtHouse can help meet their needs. Because ArtHouse will be the first publicly available commercial kitchen space in Lake County, residents of Gary and the surrounding area will now have a convenient place to prepare their goods to sell.

On November 19, you can join Arleen in her excitement about ArtHouse during its grand opening celebration, taking place from 4-6 p.m. Be a part of Gary’s revitalization as you take a tour, view the artwork, listen to great music, and savor in the flavors that will be available onsite. In the meantime, visit for more information.