Art at the Lerner

Did you know the lobby of The Lerner is an Art Gallery?

During the early days of the motion picture industry, theatres employed their own graphic artists to create "lobby art" to promote upcoming films. The Hollywood studios and promoters provided photographs and the artists would then paint the art for the local theater. Gone are the days of the independent theater artist and what was known at the time as the "exploitation department". Sadly, most of the artwork has been destroyed. Because canvas was expensive, it was reused many times, thereby losing the underlying art work forever. During WWII, the paper drives often cleaned out the art from theaters Today the term "lobby art" can be mistaken as an insult. It suggests the kind of blandly acceptable, nonthreatening art that administrators and designers seem to think is required in public lobbies.

However, in an effort to diversify the theatre experience and provide an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere, the Midwest Museum of American Art of Elkhart, Indiana has done a superb job at securing the artwork of local artists to grace our walls.

A semi-abstract bronze sculpture or some pastel still-life paintings have fit the bill, but weve also included interesting and tricky conceptual art too! On the most basic level, these works should generate the kind of wide appeal lobby art is meant to have: They're visually pleasing and not overtly political or bombastic. However, our artists go above and beyond: Most of the works are more than visually pleasing; they're downright stimulating and at times mesmerizing.

Here are the pieces of art currently on display