Our Mission is to Encourage, Enable and Educate about the arts in Sturgis and the surrounding area; to provide a supportive environment for artists, to engage the community in artistic pursuits and to encourage the exploration and cultivation of individual creative visions. The Gallery also continues to rejuvenate one of the oldest buildings in Sturgis.
The Open Door Gallery is a regional artist cooperative and community arts center, entirely supported by volunteer work, donations and sales of art works.
In 2000 the Downtown Development Authority of Sturgis purchased the oldest building in downtown Sturgis, located at 101 W. Chicago Road. With the assistance of the Sturgis City Commission, the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs and countless other donors, the goal was to turn the building into a regional cultural arts center.
Interior demolition began in January of 2001 with help from local volunteers. The brick walls, tin ceiling and wooden floors were exposed. Three large new display windows were added to the East side of the first floor. An original pulley elevator remains in working condition. The Purdy Sisters stopped in for a visit a couple years ago and confirmed that the elevator transported goods from the basement to the first floor store. Their father operated the Purdy Grocery Store in the building in the 1940's.
The ultimate goal of the artists is to completely restore the three story building. Currently work is being done on the second floor. It houses classrooms and individual artist's studios. The third floor is a wide open space and the possibilities for it's uses are endless. Before it can be used, an elevator and a fire suppression system have to be installed. A new roof was put on in October 2008 with the help of the MCACA, the City of Sturgis and generous donation by the contractor, James Ware Construction.
We couldn't begin to count all the volunteer hours that have gone into this project. No one is paid for his or her services. We have had students, artists, service organizations and retired citizens that just want to see this building realize it's full potential. Several programs and events are offered at the gallery. Some of the events are one man shows, art classes, tours, student art shows, art appreciation classes and beer & wine tastings. Art supplies are also sold. The Gallery is co-host of the quarterly Art Bounce that is held downtown. The Gallery also features an artist of the month and can be rented for meetings and private dinners.
The Open Door Gallery promotes the importance and value of art in all forms. The work in the Gallery includes paintings, pottery, glasswork, jewelry, wood working and fiber arts. Artists and volunteers keep the gallery open five or six days of the week. The artists are from Sturgis, Coldwater, Constantine, Portage, Kalamazoo and LaGrange and Howe, IN.