DAVID CITY – Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art reached a milestone with its 10-year anniversary, and Gabrielle Comte, Collections Manager at Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art, hopes to further expand its clientele and network through larger-scale exhibitions.
“We hope that we continue to boost our reputation with the public and just continue to display excellence,” Comte said. “And I think that the exhibitions we are hosting this year will continue to do that.”
Comte aims to increase visitation rates and possibly expand the museum’s space to accommodate growth.
“We are always trying to expand our network of people that are interested and support our mission,” Comte said. “We are hoping that someday we can expand our physical space so that we are able to exhibit more works of art and be able to carry forward our mission a little bit further just through a better space.”
Museum administrators are dedicated to carrying out the mission of providing scholarships and research on agrarian art in hopes of hitting and discovering new breakthroughs.
“We are just trying to keep the scholarship level very high for the future,” Comte said.
The museum’s membership list is continually growing, especially after hosting its "Ballad of the Farm" exhibit in 2015.
“That really expanded, not only our network of members, but also the network of artists,” Comte said. “That’s one thing we are really proud of here is how hard we work to try and connect to different artists and really finding those artists out there working to display art about the land, which is what our mission is all about.”
The museum's had visitors from out-of-state locations like Alaska, California, Germany and Canada.
“We have definitely expanded our horizons when it comes to visitation and artists and things like that,” Comte said.
The museum is hosting a blockbuster exhibition, "Worthy Rivals," featuring two area artists – Dale Nichols, a regionalist artist originally from David City and Terence Duren, social realist artist from Shelby. The opening reception is being held from 2-5 p.m. Saturday. Guest curator Cole Sartore will be available to answer questions about the art. Sartore will also be leading presentations about the two artists.
Nichols played a huge role in the museum’s success and Comte wanted to show appreciation through the exhibition. His art is no stranger to the museum and has made an appearance in numerous exhibitions. This led to Comte wanting to put a spin on the upcoming exhibit by highlighting the narrative of his feud with Duren in 1945.
“That is sort of our different approach to having this exhibition,” Comte said.
Comte plans to officially celebrate the museum’s 10-year mark from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, July 8, at the Butler County Event Center. Previous museum display pieces will be shown throughout the venue to showcase its decade-long journey. Attendees can also watch a documentary on the museum’s "Ballad of the Farm" exhibit held in 2015.
“(We are) Just hoping to really show the impact that Bone Creek Museum has had on tourism in this town, hoping to really find ways to display that on that day,” Comte said.