News and Tribune


January 29, 2013


Art teacher comments on Pilot House project

I was so disappointed to read an article in the Jan. 7 issue of the News and Tribune on the status of the Pilot House project. If you had contacted anyone from the Pilot House group, we could have prevented some of the inaccuracies in his reporting.

Unfortunately, the overall plan for the future of downtown Jeffersonville has changed significantly since the Pilot House project was initiated. Many of the proposed projects that would have helped to make the renovation and use of the old school cafeteria building feasible are no longer part of the masterplan. 

Such an ambitious endeavor requires a lot of groups and intentions to be in alignment, and they no longer are. Jeffersonville City Attorney Les Merkley indicated that we had not fulfilled our requirements; we had in fact, completed the necessary documents, but they were no longer relevant. We believe that it is prudent to be practical and realistic, so we have changed our plan.

The decision of the museum group to change their plan was not a “blow” to the Pilot House project, but a logical step that took place after all parties involved with the Pilot House agreed that current conditions were not conducive to completion of the project as intended. We still hope to continue to have events and projects that combine art and history.

The proposed art facility is not dead in the least; it’s just not currently going to occur in the old cafeteria building anytime soon. The Jeffersonville Arts Alliance was formed last summer and has held classes and three JAM (Jeffersonville Arts Movement) sessions. Each of these sessions has attracted between 40 and 70 participants to create a temporary art installation. 

The “Day of the Dead” masks that were displayed in October on Spring Street were created in one of the JAM sessions. The sessions are held at Jeffersonville High School, with the encouragement and support of Greater Clark County Schools. The school corporation is a fantastic partner in our fledgling efforts to bring public art programs to Jeffersonville, and we fully expect to bring the City of Jeffersonville in as a partner in the near future.

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