DE PERE (NBC 26) — With Art Nite bringing enthusiasts from around the Fox Valley to De Pere, Friday night demonstrated the growth of the city's arts scene.
"We love the robust quality of downtown De Pere. We can kind of see it burgeoning with increasing life with every month that goes by," said David Graham
Graham and Terri Warpinski own what's called the newARTSpace in De Pere, which opened up a new exhibit Friday night to celebrate their one-year anniversary. Graham said that when he moved to the area a year ago from Philadelphia he noticed untapped potential in the area's art scene.
"Their galleries were in New York or Chicago or Miami as the case may be and so we've tried to draw these artists in back into the art-filled life of De Pere," said Graham
Appleton-based artist Cristian Andersson says that a vibrant art community is important to the quality of life in many towns and cities across the region.
"The arts are important. It tells us a lot about who we are as people, as a society, as a culture," said Andersson.
Andersson said that he uses music to influence what he decides to paint. Another exhibit from artist Rebecca Carlton was a physical set-up that served as a tribute to the world's thousands of different languages.
As Warpinski and Graham reflected on one year of curating art in their new gallery, they said they're excited by how art enthusiasts in the area have reacted, but look to engage a completely new demographic.
"What we really, I think, want to have happen is for the community of non-artists to engage with us to come visit the work that we're showing," said Warpinski.
The hope is to continue growing to try to make De Pere an art and culture destination for Northeast Wisconsin.