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Green Bay's Art Garage is a Community Gem

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Photo: Video by nbc26.com

Green Bay's Art Garage is a Community Gem

By Stacy Engebretson. CREATED Jul 16, 2014

Green Bay, WI -- Just off Main Street, you'll find a community treasure. The old 1930's Green Bay Canning Company has been transformed into the Art Garage. 

"We don't charge at the door. We want to make the arts affordable and accessible," said founder Sandi Van Sistine. 

In 2005, she was approached by two graduating UWGB students who longed for a place to create and display their work. In March 2006, Van Sistine opened the Art Garage.

"I was an artist myself, still am, and we recognized there was a need." 

Natalie Vann was among the first wave of artists to set up shop.

"For those of us who are kind of studio artists looking for a home, this was a godsend," she said. "Here, I'm connecting with people who are like minded." 

Vann shares a rented space with sculptor Naomi Moes-Jenkins.

"We support one another and we encourage one another," Vann said.

They are also able to connect with visitors who admire and purchase their work. 

"They are stimulated. They talk to the artists when they come in. It's a really great one-on-one type of situation," explained Moes-Jenkins. 

The beautiful, brick walls and sky high ceilings are a perfect venue to display paintings and sculptures. There is also a stage for performances.

Van Sistine says, "If you have a strong arts culture, you have a strong community." 

It's support from the community that makes this non-profit organization flourish and stay true to their motto.

"The arts, we say, really does save lives." 

Van Sistine says they couldn't do it without their generous donors who they describe as their angels of art. 

Click here to learn more about the Art Garage.