Amid the excitement of last week’s First Friday Art Walk, a new art gallery opened downtown with a unique mission for Springfield.

Formed: An Artist Collective is a gallery/studio that owners Grace Huckfeldt and Laura Ingalsbe said would showcase the talent of Springfield and serve as a place for it to grow. The gallery currently hosts 18 local artists of different styles and mediums. 

“Our whole focus is to try and help local artists, emerging artists and people who want to put themselves out there,” Ingalsbe said. “Some of our artists are very well established in the local area, like our wood carver Warren Soper, but then we have Katie Simmon of Soulful Clay, who just started creating her jewelry this year.”

Formed provides studio spaces as well. These spaces are open to the public.

“Once we get more settled and COVID-19 calms down to where we feel safe, we plan to have a lot more available studio spaces as well as classes,” Huckfeldt said. “I plan to soon start teaching classes on pottery.”

In regards to COVID-19, as per Springfield’s mask ordinance, all guests in Formed are required to wear a mask. Sanitation supplies are also available near the entrance.

According to Ingalsbe, despite the difficulties created by COVID-19, opening the gallery was “exceptionally easy.”

“Previously, there had been a jewelry store here, and the owner of it could not fulfill her lease with the owner of the building, Craig Waggner,” Ingalsbe said. “Downtown Springfield Association jumped in to help her through the end of the year. They put a pop-up shop here, which Grace and I were involved in and that’s how we found out the spot would soon be up for lease.”

According to Ingalsbe, soon after the pop-up shop, they talked to Waggner about opening the gallery and he was immediately on board with the idea.

“Waggner said he wanted something artistic to stay in this spot, so he thought our gallery would be perfect,” Ingalsbe said. “Everything just fell into place.”

Friday’s art walk was the official opening of the gallery, but a soft opening was held Jan. 12 for artists to get settled in the gallery. 

“We just said to ourselves ‘Hey, let’s have our grand opening on First Friday Art Walk,’” Ingalsbe said. “It’s the 20th anniversary of the walk, so we couldn’t really ask for a better time to open.”

Formed has a diverse array of art available for both viewing and purchase. From the traditional medium of paint on canvas to clay and wood carvings, one would be seeking contempt to not have something peak one’s interest.

Formed: An Artist Collective is open Tuesday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The gallery is located on Walnut Street near Gailey’s Breakfast Cafe. For more information, click here.

Follow Todd Dearing on Twitter, @mtodddearing

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