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The Art Hospital is a not-for-profit studio, gallery, and performance space run by a collective of Bloomington artists. It opened in its original space at 1021 South Walnut Street in June 2006, and is currently entering its 3rd year of existence.
The Art Hospital's mission is to provide low cost studio, exhibition, and performance space for artists in Bloomington, to enhance local culture by providing a venue for alternative forms of expression, and to provide resources for the growth and development of young creative artists.
The idea for The Art Hospital began floating around in early 2006, as a group of local artists, musicians, and DIY music promoters came together to create a space that would fill multiple voids in the local art scene. Visual artists no longer affiliated with Indiana University needed affordable space to create and exhibit work, while musicians and promoters reacting to the closing of Second Story and The Church sought a new venue for DIY music shows. This group decided that the best way to deal with these voids would be getting together, pooling money, and opening a new space as a group. After finding a suitable building, and following a long and meandering debate over what to name this new project, The Art Hospital opened in 2006, and remained in its original space for for over two years. This space hosted multiple music and art shows each week, as well as housing studio space for member artists.
In the spring of 2008 The Art Hospital's members decided it was time for a change. The number and frequency of music shows had long been a point of contention among Art Hospital's membership, as these large events generally prevented members from being able to work in their studios. Since the space opened in 2006, other venues, such as The Cinemat and the Waldron Arts Center, began to come available for mid-sized music shows, and it was decided that there was no longer a need for Hospital to provide this service. While the decision to move away from music events would allow the members to focus more on their own work, it also made it clear that without such large events, renting an entire warehouse is a little unnecessary, and perhaps a smaller space was in order.
In the summer of 2008 The Art Hospital moved to 102 E Allen Street, which is currently under renovation thanks to a grant from the City's Bloomington Entertainment and Arts District, and hosts art events showcasing local and regional artists as well as providing community art services such as figure drawing sessions and workshops.