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Artists need for City Methodist Church, former hoisery factory

The City Methodist Church in Gary.

Artists are asked to come up with proposals for Gary's long-abandoned City Methodist Church and the former Bear Brand Hosiery Factory.

The Gary Redevelopment Commission and the Legacy Foundation are soliciting artists to submit their ideas by June 1 for an art installation for the imposing Gothic City Methodist Church, a favorite spot for urban explorers that is being turned into a European-style ruins garden. The winner of the 2018 City Church Art Competition, either an artist or a team of artists, will receive $10,000.

“The City Church Art Challenge celebrates the church’s place in Gary’s history and highlights the potential to recreate the space as a public amenity,” said Sarah Kobetis, Gary's deputy director of planning. “The church has sat idle for over 40 years. With Knight Foundation support, the Redevelopment Commission is working to stabilize City Church for safe access. Once the site is secured, the art installation will be relocated to its permanent home on the church grounds.”

Artists are asking to submit five images of relevant work, professional references and a statement of interest. The art installation would need to be moved to 6th and Washington in downtown Gary after what remains of the church is stabilized, be resilient in outdoor conditions and incorporate a theme connecting the church's past and future. 

For more information, contact the Gary Redevelopment Commission at (219) 886-1531.

Hosiery factory site

The Delta Institute and the Chicago-based nonprofit The Fresh Coast also are looking for artists to reimagine the historic Bear Brand Hosiery Factory Site at 205 East 21st Avenue. The factory there once made women's stockings and parachutes for troops during World War II before closing in 1965.

The factory's been demolished and now the nonprofits are eyeing a green redevelopment project that would revitalize the site as a park and minimize stormwater runoff. They're considering native plantings, a new fence, seating area, interpretive signage and public art by muralists and artists.

The Delta Institute seeks artists to produce three large murals and a three dimensional interpretative sign. The murals will highlight African-American history by "representing historical African American figures in the profession of science, medicine, or poetry," showcase community schools named after prominent African-Americans, and portray the factory's role in World War II and the community.

Artists will be paid as much as $500 for a mural.

Proposals can be submitted to Genese Leach at by May 21.

For more information contact Leach at or 860-716-1723.


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.