Gallery of History and Art gets a lift

A project that has taken roughly nine months is complete, and what a lift it will give the Mott Gallery of History and Art.

Mott Gallery Store Front (CMYK)

By Cole Benz | Herald Editor |

A project that has taken roughly nine months is complete, and what a lift it will give the Mott Gallery of History and Art. The building recently had an elevator installed, and it is going to open up more possibilities and opportunities for the museum and the community it engages with.

This is the 10th season that the museum has been housed and its current location, and since it’s been there the idea of the elevator has been discussed.

“2015 makes us a 10-year old baby there,” said Joyce Hinrichs, President of the Mott Gallery of History and Art.

The previous location of the museum was the old Methodist church.

“The elevator gives us the ability to be ADA (compliant),” said Hinrichs.

Along with becoming ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliant, Hinrichs said that another big benefit of the elevator is that they can now expand into the upper level of the building. She said that they have already started to put together the upper level. According to Hinrichs, they have had plenty of display material in storage, and it can now be out in the open for the public to utilize.

“We need to now start going through what we have in storage so that we can share it with the community,” Hinrichs said.

Some of the space will also be used for historical research. Hinrichs said many people have donated family history materials that relatives can use to investigate their own history.

“We need the space desperately, we’ve grown,” Hinrichs said.

To get this plan into action the museum had two big fundraisers, and also participated in raising money with the Lions Club and the Playhouse Theater.

Something else that helped progress the project was from Hinrichs herself.

When the plan started to come to fruition, Hinrichs started to write about the project, documenting the progress and their plans, and donations started rolling in. People attending events and walking through the museum were more generous with their donations. Donations started to increase as patrons came to visit, they weren’t just coming without giving back.

“The generosity of the community and area has made this successful,” Hinrichs said. “Because everybody got on the band wagon with it.”

Along with historical displays, the museum has had guest speakers, artists and activities each month during the open season. They hope to increase that with the newly developed spaces.

“What happened to this museum is the people 10 years ago wanted it and they put it together so beautifully that we have everybody in the area wanting to participate it, and this past year we increased our activities to having a special artist,” Hinrichs said. “We will continue with that, and we will have more room to do even bigger seminars.”

The elevator looks like a standard doorway, but when you open it up and enter it, there is a gate that closes, allowing the elevator to be operated. You can enter it at the ground floor and get transported to both levels of the building. If you so choose you can still walk up the stairs instead of utilizing the elevator.

The next project for the group is going to be to develop some space on the main floor into an ADA compliant restroom facility. The project will take a less amount of energy and resources because the structure is there, only the appliances will need to be installed to make the restroom functional.

Steve Sloan has also created a new display sign for the museum to take advantage of. The new sign that contains a plexiglass sign insert will be on display a few days prior to an event. It will be secure and can handle the weather when it turns bad.

The Mott Gallery of History and Art will soon open again for the 2015 season, and patrons will be able to see a whole other side of what it can offer its community members.

“We’re just excited to start opening it up and getting in the stuff that’s in storage so we can start sharing what people have donated all these years,” Hinrichs said. “We’re very, very excited about finally being able to use the top of that beautiful building.”

This year the gallery will be having featured artists again. June will feature Bev Haas from Taylor, N.D. Haas is a painter. Beth Sihieve who paints on leather will be featured in July. For August another painter, Helen Campbell, will be featured. In Sept. wood carver Phil Berg from Rhame will be featured.

The gallery will also be a participant in the upcoming ‘Meander to Mott’ celebration June 12 and 13.

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