ArtSpace looking ahead to more excitement

LIMA — ArtSpace/Lima occupies a significant niche in the Lima community.

The non-profit organization that seeks to bring visual arts to the entire region had an even bigger year than it usually does.

“During the pandemic, we couldn’t do anything because people couldn’t come in, so we decided to do an outreach with art bags,” executive director Sally Windle said. “And what happened is people found out there are more things going on inside. It’s kind of like a reintroduction, and it piqued the curiosity. So we started attracting more people who want to do different things.”

That kind of trend has led ArtSpace, 65 Town Square, Lima, to do things like installing a wheelchair lift in its basement’s ceramics and pottery lab and purchasing the vacated space next door to expand.

“We want to make it accessible to everyone, so that’s going to be another option that we will have along with the building next door,” Windle said. “We want to make sure that if we put a new gallery space in there for our permanent collection, that it is unique and state of the art, but also available for everyone because this really is a community place. And because of that, we feel like we need to offer options for everybody, so we’ll be looking at how to optimize using that building.”

And Windle thinks it has all paid off.

“I think when we have openings, we see more people than just what you expect in the art crowd,” she said. “We’re seeing a younger audience of people coming in and looking around, asking questions and feeling like they’re a part of it. We have groups come in not only to do an activity but ask for a docent tour in a gallery.”

It helps that ArtSpace holds events such as film festival showings, poetry readings and classes to go along with the galleries and exhibits that are available.

“Everything is an experience, just to come in and look around, seeing the different architecture and then to see the art,” Windle said. “But it’s also not for a certain group. It’s for everybody. Even though you may not think you understand, there are opportunities to find out more and appreciate.”

It is that kind of idea that ArtSpace hopes to promote with its programming.

“There is an invisible wall with some art museums and galleries because people think of that direct hit where if they’re not an artist they might think it has nothing to do with them,” Windle said. “So, what we had done a couple of years ago was to add relevance. If we have an exhibit like our Women to Watch show, then we’ll continue to pull in different things that are relevant.”

Residing in a historic building in such a unique part of town has its advantages too.

“We have visitors from lots of different places, whether it’s higher ed students or a convention drawing people in,” Windle said. “And so we’re fortunate to be downtown within walking distance of the hotel, but we hear a lot about how other cities don’t have this. And I think that’s something that, as someone who grew up here, I appreciate and think that our community can take pride in because there aren’t many places where you can come in and use this like a studio. I think it’s a jewel in the crown of downtown Lima.”

If you are interested in volunteering at ArtSpace or learning more about what they have to offer, visit the or follow the organization on social media.


Many businesses and organizations started right here in the Lima region, with the goal of making an impact in the region. This year’s Celebrating Our Spirit looks at those trailblazers. Read more stories at

Reach Jacob Espinosa at 567-242-0399.