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MUNCIE – While the David Owsley Museum of Art at Ball State University remains closed to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions, visitors can now view many of their favorite works of art and learn about others by using a new collection search page.

The online collection allows guests to browse an initial catalog of over 1,000 objects from the DOMA collection of over 11,000 works of art.

The new online collection was made possible by a grant from the Ball Brothers Foundation aimed at expanding the public reach of the museum, according to a statement from Ball State. “The Ball Brothers Foundation was proud to support efforts to make the museum’s collection accessible to virtual visitors around the world,” said Jud Fisher, president and chief operating officer of BBF, in the statement. “It’s rare for a city our size to have a world-class art collection and digitizing the collection will solidify Muncie as a center for arts and culture in the Midwest and beyond. We are grateful to the DOMA team for their hard work in making this project possible.

Through this personalized search page, DOMA is now able to share its art collection with students, researchers, other art museums and art lovers both locally and globally. “The online collection is the result of an increased effort to update the digital foundation of the museum thanks to a new collection management system, which makes images and data of the museum’s treasures available for educational purposes. said Robert La France, Director of DOMA. “At the moment almost all of the artwork on display in the galleries can be viewed online and we look forward to expanding the selection to include art in storage.”

Visit bsu.edu/doma/collection for more information, to browse topic portfolios, and to search the collection. Questions and comments are welcome at artmuseum@bsu.edu.

Art competition provides creative outlet during pandemic

MUNCIE – Open Door Health Services offers community art contest, “We ART Together!” to encourage local youth to continue to engage in creative pursuits even when schoolwork is winding down.

All children ages 12 and under living in Delaware, Madison, Grant, Blackford, Jay, Randolph, or Henry counties can participate.

To participate, children are invited to create a new work of art in two dimensions or three dimensions. Parents or guardians can then visit opendoorhs.org/art to submit a photo of the art. The deadline to participate is May 31.

Creative projects are beneficial for children during stressful times like a pandemic, according to Alan Maugherman, director of behavioral health at Open Door. “Children can use art projects as a positive opportunity to disconnect from real-life anxiety and stressors,” Maugherman said. “They might also choose to turn these uncontrollable stressors into a creative project under their control.”

Open Door Pediatrics vendors will serve as judges, selecting winners in multiple age categories. Winners will receive a $25 gift card for their choice of Made in Muncie or Toys Forever pottery, both located in downtown Muncie.

With recent COVID-19-related business closures, the choice of pricing was intentional, said Suzanne Clem, director of community outreach at Open Door. “Just steps from downtown Open Door in Muncie, we have a unique local shopping scene that we know has been impacted by the pandemic,” Clem said. “Giving prizes to local businesses is a small way for us to be good neighbors with them.”

“We ART Together!” winners will be announced in early June and all entries will be posted online for the community to see.

Full contest details are available at opendoorhs.org.