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Lake City's City Manager Wendell Johnson Backs Art Gallery For Downtown Lake City

Art like Atlee Harmon's will have a place to hang in Lake City  (Click to enlarge)

LAKE CITY, FL –  Last night in City Hall for almost an hour the topic of an art gallery coming to downtown Lake City was explored. Lake City's run down and dilapidated downtown corridor was not an impediment to the Art League's Jeanne Van Arsdall and her fellow Art League members, all residents of Lake City/Columbia County. The Art League members were committed to finding a building and a landlord with a commitment to the downtown. Dr. Ricardo Bedoya stepped up to the plate, as did CM Wendell Johnson who committed the CRA to the project pending an inspection of the premises by Larry Lee of the Building Department.

Jeanne Van Arsdall gave a spirited presentation to the CRAC.

Art League President Jeanne Van Arsdall said that the League had to display its artwork in other places, "Because there are not enough places in Lake City."

She said, "It is going to take two years to get the community oriented to coming downtown to purchase art." The proposed hours of the Gallery will be 10 am to 6 pm Monday through Saturday.

Ms. Van Arsdall told the Community Redevelopment Advisory Committee (CRAC) that the Art League was not "just a name only little club that is here in Lake City. We are very serious and the club is composed of very good artists and we are involved in the community, every single one of us. We have to have those funds."

City Manager Johnson was 100% behind the project.

City Manager Johnson said he thought the initiative would bring people downtown. "I think this is a good thing and if we don't try we won't know," he said.

After some talk about finances and ADA accessibility, City Manager Johnson made a motion to recommend to the CRA (Community Redevelopment Authority) to fund the Art League to get it up and running. The motion passed with one dissenting vote.


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