WEAU 13 News: Art for All: Pablo Center offers free art galleries for the public
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- It's been almost one year since the $59 million project in downtown Eau Claire opened its doors for the first time. Since then, the Pablo Center at the Confluence has welcomed dozens of shows and art exhibits to the Chippewa Valley.
It's something that's unique to the Pablo Center. “It’s one of the best decisions that we as a team made is making sure people can come and experience this all day long,” said Jason Jon Anderson, the executive director.It was September 22, 2018 that the halls were flooded with thousands of people who were checking out the newest big attraction to downtown Eau Claire. While performances are part of the main draw, the art displayed in the building is another big piece to bring in the general public.
The team at the Pablo Center decided that art should be free and open to the public. "Most performing arts centers in general are not open through the day, or if they are open it’s only for a paid for tour,” Anderson said.
Even though you have to purchase tickets for performances - the Pablo Center is open during business hours for people to check out local, regional and national works of art. "It really was something that evolved after we went through our initial grand opening,” Anderson said. “This should be a space that we can staff and can be open and we that we should give back to the community and be accessible.”
The Pablo Center features three art galleries that are constantly changing every few weeks. "The visual arts are such a strength of this community and of this region and it should be free,” said Brenna St. George Jones, the director of artistic programming.”
The galleries are open to the public every weekday, Saturdays and whenever there is a performance. "The attendance in these galleries exceeded any expectations,” Jones added.
And with one year down and many more to go, they're hoping it will be inviting for all ages to come in, check out some art and maybe even inspire others to create. "Art isn't something that has to be professionally done, that everyone should be encouraged to draw, to sketch to take photos,” Anderson said.
The galleries have been so popular that the Pablo Center extended the hours and they are now open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every weekday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.