ANGOLA — An art gallery opened in Hurricane Speedshop, 900 N. Wayne St., and the exhibit is all about Angola and the surrounding area.

A reception will be held Sunday, 2-4 p.m., with music by Tom Adamson, refreshments and a chance to meet some of the artists contributing to Driven by Data.

Hosted by the Mayor’s Arts Council, the project invited artistic expressions of statistics about Angola or Steuben County. Artists were asked to pick a statistic and use the medium of their choice to create a piece that reflects the numbers.

The pieces use paint, repurposing, textiles and photography to tell the story of our corner of northeastern Indiana. While the gallery has been set, organizer and building owner Colleen Everage welcomed late submissions.

“I’m happy with what’s here,” said Everage. “We have a variety of ages represented and a variety of levels.”

From a 6-year-old’s painting of flowers to professional photography by Jeremy Muller, Driven by Data spurs the imagination.

Everage said she is intrigued by the subjects the artists chose to express.

Youth Action for Sustainability, an Angola High School environmental club affiliated with the Mayors Youth Council, decorated an entire room adjoining the gallery. The walk-in experience encourages recycling.

RISE Inc. clients made a repurposing inspired piece.

The most expansive expression is Maria Davis’ 600 paper cranes, hung from the ceiling of the gallery. Using the art of origami, Davis folded many white cranes. A sprinkling of them are green, blue, yellow and red and a few are made out of children’s art paper and colored brilliantly with crayons.

Using statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. Census Bureau, Indiana Family Social Services Administration and the Indiana Department of Education’s free and reduced lunch fund, Davis extrapolated that one in six area children live in poverty. Those children are represented by the colorful birds.

“All the cranes represent the children,” said Davis, who spent 30 hours folding cranes, about two minutes apiece.

While it was a time investment, Davis likens origami to meditation.

“Origami is like life — every fold is a decision,” she said.

Around 100 of the birds were made by community members and children at Holy Family Episcopal Church, where Adamson is the pastor.

Many are indistinguishable from the other, just as poverty can be a “hidden” issue in a community, says the card explaining Davis’ work, titled “One of Six.”

“They are hidden, just like sometimes poverty is hidden,” said Davis.

The birds are suspended from 20 bars supported by brackets, crafted to hang from the ceiling of the freshly remodeled room, which served as the lighting department of a former hardware store.

The gallery will be open Fridays 6-8 p.m., Saturdays 10 to noon and Sundays 2-4 p.m. through Nov. 16.

Driven By Data is funded by the Steuben County Community Foundation.

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