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BESS Art Exposure gallery to close after Saturday book signing

The BESS Art Exposure gallery in Merrillville will shutter after a book signing Saturday.

The BESS Art Exposure gallery in Merrillville will close after about a year, at least for now, after a final book signing event Saturday.

Author LaTanya Tindall will sign copies of her book "31 Uniquely Inspirational Expressions" from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and then from 4 to 8 p.m. at the gallery in a former cell phone store at 5386 Broadway in Merrillville, just south of the Gary border.

BESS Art Exposure co-owner Juanina Johnson said it's a great book. 

"It’s a book you can continue to come back to all the time and be renewed," she said. "It is enlightening, positive and worth every bit of the cost.”

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Visitors also can get a look at the final exhibit at the gallery, Missy Monk's photography show.  Her work features landscapes with sunsets, dark skies and calm waters.

BESS Art Exposure co-owner Jesse Johnson, a pastor and art professor at Ivy Tech, said he had to close the art gallery for now because of a lack of revenue but was hoping to find a new spot – potentially just down the street – that was cheaper to rent. A painter himself, he started the gallery with lofty ambitions to bring together those who love art with a diverse community of creative and mindful artists.

“I want to bring together a community where we don’t see race but we see color through the creativeness from the artist’s pieces," he said.  “I plan to relocate and reopen BESS later."

He also plans to continue to run the Black Entertainment Success Stories group on Facebook and is looking to establish a website to sell the work of local artists online.

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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.