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 Taneytown plans new multi-arts center

Danielle Ryan

(9/28) RUST co-owners David Underwood and Justin Staudinger are excited to announce that a multi-art events space will be coming to Taneytown. Located just down the road from RUST, on 107 East Baltimore Street, the space will be home to monthly art exhibits and eventually art demonstrations of all kinds.

The idea behind the events space ties into the desire to continue promoting Taneytown, especially the vast array of "hidden" people adorned with all sorts of artistic talents. As one of the leader heads of the "Why TTOWN" campaign, Underwood has been brainstorming ideas to continue promoting Taneytown in a positive light. The Arts Council in Taneytown had juggled the idea back and forth for some time about having a space for artists to work, but the idea fell through. So Underwood has rekindled the idea.

All the businesses, religious organizations, civic organizations, individual residents, and business owners within Taneytown have much to offer other communities, and are not always being recognized. Underwood noticed that there was no real "events" space in town, and felt as though the town could really benefit from one, especially to promote the local artists in town.

This space would allow local artisans of all kinds to meet in one location to showcase their talent to the community. Each month, a new art form or exhibit would be displayed for the duration of a week. So far Underwood has been contacted by wineries and breweries, pottery artisans, and even groups in Washington DC and Baltimore who are really interested in the idea of a space solely for showcasing mixed art forms.

Three months ago, when Underwood first began toying with the idea of an art space, he came in contact with a Taneytown resident named Ronnie Putman who was leasing a nearby venue space. After speaking to Putnam, and viewing the space for himself, Underwood decided that the space would be perfect for housing mixed art forms and showcasing the talent Taneytown has to offer.

In the future, Underwood would possibly like to open a separate coffee shop that would be attached to the events venue. Visitors could go buy a cup of coffee, walk into the gallery and spend some time there enjoying the art. Wifi availability is definitely something that is desired and in the works as well. In essence, the town needs a place for people to hang out in a peaceful environment where they can enjoy the space while working.

He envisions the space as having some seating, and some industrial style tables/counters for art to be displayed, but also for visitors to utilize. Larger than life side by side black and white photos of some of the well-known businesses in town from the past versus the future would line the side walls of the space. As businesses grow and change, the photos will also undergo adjustments, showcasing the time line of changes within the town. These photographs alone will surely be a magnificent work of art to behold by visitors, as they will be able to view what the town used to look like, and how it has changed to what it is today.

The first exhibit, which will be held in November (date yet to be determined) will consist of a design house show. Taneytown has many antique stores, design stores etc. that are interested in showcasing a holiday themed house show. The first show will feature all local residents and businesses. One of the exposťs will feature a local resident who will be making Christmas trees out of wooden pallets. Other holiday deigns and decorations will also be featured. Other exhibits possibly in the future, as being discussed, include a pottery tour, photography exhibits, wine and specialty foods, and paintings utilizing various media, just to name a few.

There are so many talented people in Taneytown whose art isnít known, but have a world of artistic abilities and stories about themselves and their art. This events space will allow them to come forward and show visitors and residents what they have to offer while simultaneously promoting all the wonderful aspects of the town. Underwood is immensely excited to begin this journey, and looks forward to the grand opening. He hopes the space will be finished mid-October.

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