New exhibit opens Friday at SideCar gallery in Hammond

SideCar gallery in Hammond

The "Window to the Soul: Selections from the Joseph Kleemann Collection" opens Friday at the SideCar Gallery at 411 Huehn in Hammond.

"Joe Kleemann buys art. He buys a lot of art, usually by local artists, from local galleries or through auctions supporting local non-profits," SideCar owner Mike Kaysen wrote in an announcement. "Over the years he’s bought so many things that he had lost track of exactly what he owned. As SideCar is usually closed during the summer months, I offered up the space to gather his collection, assess the condition of the works and attend to any pressing issues, document and catalog the works and frame a few of the more fragile pieces in order to protect them."

The idea for the new exhibit emerged from the process of taking inventory.

"The exhibition is that somewhat rare opportunity to see highlights from a personal collection, for the public and, sometimes, the collector to get a chance to appreciate these objects compiled and presented in a gallery context instead of a domestic setting or spread across a warehouse," Kaysen wrote. "The resulting dialog between the works can be frustrating and enlightening. It is also fun."

The collection features pieces by several artists, including Carl Baratta, Atom Basham, Mariano Chavez, Danny Hein, Marion Kryczka, David Leggett, Paul Perkins, Ben Seamons, and Melanie Schiff.

"Take advantage of the opportunity to see these works," Kaysen wrote. "It’s a good collection that will probably get even better. Joe likes to collect and he collects what he likes. In doing so, he supports this community in the most direct way possible; he puts money into the pockets of local artists, galleries and schools. I, for one, am thankful for his support."

An opening reception will take place from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday. The exhibit will be open through Aug. 26, and the gallery will be open by appointment only.

For more information, call 708-337-1090 or visit


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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.