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South Shore Arts presents ‘Art in Focus’ programs in March

Information provided by South Shore Arts

HAMMOND, Ind. (February 22, 2021) – The South Shore Arts “Art in Focus” program, founded in 1996 by retired Hammond educator Rita M. Ray, meets twice monthly as part of an on-going series of free arts presentations that provide insights into the work of artists and the multitude of artistic forms that they express.

The month of March 2021 will bring opportunities for adult learners of all ages who are interested in the arts and their impact on the world to join in conversations with three artists. Summer Scharringhausen will be sharing and discussing her series of paintings on art and motherhood on March 4 at 7:00 p.m. Piotr Szyhalski will present his “COVID-19: Labor Camp Report” on March 11 at 7:00 p.m. And finally, Ryan Bennett will demonstrate his work on the pottery wheel and discuss the intersections of art and nature on March 18 at 7:00 p.m.

March 4 – Exhibition and conversation with Summer Scharringhausen

South Shore arts
Artwork by Summer Scharringhausen. (Photo provided)

7:00–8:00 p.m. on Zoom Webinar and YouTube Live

For the past two years, Summer Scharringhausen has created a collection of paintings that serve as the visual journal of one mother, depicting a variety of moments and emotions through the media of permanent ink and watercolor. Scharringhausen is a Northwest Indiana artist and the Director of Education at South Shore Arts. She will share her recent body of work about success and failure, love and depression, support and judgment, joy and exhaustion via a virtual exhibition of her artwork and open a dialogue about other stories and experiences through art.

March 11 – Guest lecture and conversation with Piotr Szyhalski

7:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Zoom Webinar and YouTube Live

Piotr Szyhalski is a Minneapolis-based artist, originally from Poland. He created his first “COVID-19: Labor Camp Report” on March 24, 2020, in direct response to the global coronavirus pandemic. What started as a single drawing slowly morphed into a daily practice, a way to reconcile and record the thoughts, feelings, and changes being wrought in the world. Szyhalski will discuss his works addressing the global health crisis, economic inequities, and the uprising following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police to environmental catastrophes and the waning days of the Trump administration in the United States. Szyhalski’s posters are currently being exhibited in the South Shore Arts gallery at the Center for Visual and Performing Arts, in conjunction with the “Work! Fight! Give!” exhibition.

South Shore Arts
Szyhalski’s COVID-19: Labor Camp Report, currently on exhibition at the Center for Visual and Performing Arts. (Photo provided)

March 18 – Ceramics demonstration and conversation with Ryan Bennett

7:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Zoom Webinar and YouTube Live

Ryan Bennett is a ceramicist and conservationist from Gary, Indiana. Ryan’s work is founded on the idea that we are in control of our humanity and need to prioritize the importance of adopting good social and ecological practices. “The qualities of the world are as malleable as the finest clay and can only be as good as the practices to form them,” he says. Bennett will demonstrate how to create a wheel-thrown vessel and engage viewers in a conversation about ceramics and nature.

South Shore Arts
Ryan Bennett creating a vessel on a pottery wheel. (Photo provided)

Virtual format

These presentations are being hosted in a new virtual format that allows South Shore Arts to bring artists directly to the audience in the comfort of their own homes, gaining access to artistic experiences that might otherwise be out of reach. This year, each session is taking place virtually, with live interaction between the presenter and audience. Each session is hosted by South Shore Arts Deputy Director Micah Bornstein. Thursday evening sessions at 7:00 p.m. are live events with the opportunity to engage directly with the presenting artist. Each presentation is then rebroadcast on the South Shore Arts website the following Monday. Links to participate are posted on the website.

Art in Focus is open to the public and, thanks to generous support from Community Healthcare System, it is always free.

For more information about the program, including presentation dates, times, topics, and links for participation, visit


South Shore Arts
South Shore Arts
South Shore Arts, housed in Munster, Indiana's, Center for Visual and Performing Arts, serves the south shore of Lake Michigan with classes for all ages, youth outreach, galleries, and gift shops. Their mission is to transform the South Shore through the arts, and their vision is a progressive region that employs the arts to transform lives and strengthen communities.