New art gallery opens in one of Highland's oldest homes

The Promise You Art House opened on Kennedy Avenue in Highland.

A new art gallery that bills itself as an "eclectic hub for art and art services" has opened in downtown Highland.

Promise You Art House occupies a 107-year-old home at 8830 Kennedy Ave. that the Lubarski family spent two years renovating into a contemporary art gallery. It sells 200 pieces of art from about 20 local artists, with prices ranging from around $3 to $1,000, owner David Lubarski said.

He, his father Dave Lubarski, mother Mary Beth Lubarski, brother Zachary Lubarski, sister Rachel Lubarski, and family friend Eric Roldan opened the new business, which they hope will be a creative hub for Highland and surrounding towns. It joins One Best Life @ Tinker's Attic as the second art gallery in downtown Highland. 

"We want people to see they don't have to go to the city for art culture," said David Lubarski, who's a photographer and fine artist. "Highland is often overlooked, but the people of Highland, Griffith, Munster and Hammond don't have to go to the city for a sophisticated art experience. ... It also has a more relaxed environment than galleries in the city, a more homey environment." 

Much of the work on display in three rooms that have been converted to gallery space is affordable, and including portraits of the rock star David Bowie and the gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson. Promise You Art House represents local artists who know what the market will bear, and how much people will pay, he said. 

"We wanted an arts and culture center inside Highland, and this house fit the bill," he said. "We spent two years transforming it. I've lived in Highland my whole life, and wanted a place for freedom of expressive, a safe place for creatives to be free and uninhibited."

Promise You Art House offers a variety of art work, including "obscure and weird" pieces, but it's all family-friendly, David Lubarski said. The gallery plans to set side one of the room for solo or group exhibitions. 

Long-term, the Promise You Art House aims to add artist studios, workshops for artists, movie nights and concerts in the back yard. They've further discussed offices and a recording studio.

"We're looking to fill the void," he said. "We welcome all types of different artists, whether visual or dance or spoken word. We've noticed so many types of artists in the area, and want to host creative conversations."

David Lubarski said the business opened at a good time, when murals were being painted in downtown Highland and a skate shop, coffee house and boutique all recently opened.

"We really stress community," he said. "We really invite the community to feel the freedom of creativity."

Promise You Art House is open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and by appointment.

For more information, call 219-595-0097 or visit www.pyarthouse.com.

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Business reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.