Wunderkammer Company Lives up to Its Meaning as a “Cabinet of Curiosities”


Dan Swartz is on a mission to help Fort Wayne realize its coolness. He worked with the Downtown Improvement District as a Cultural District Liaison where he looked for connections between art and economic development. He is avid about how great Fort Wayne is, even if the city does not realize it. He is a strong believer that a vibrant downtown will lead to an overall vibrant city. He cites many national studies that claim that a lively urban center is “fundamental to seeing substantial growth in a city’s metro area.” He thinks it is high time for Fort Wayne to see the gold mine it is sitting on, with all of the potential our downtown area has. The city should be serious about improving Downtown, “instead of the stop-start power playing that has been happening for the last thirty years.”

The Company always has something going on with different installations and exhibits. The “Fort Wayne 1x1” exhibit showcases local photography talent and the beauty of our city. The last part of the exhibit “EX” is on display, “which looks at the collaborative processes between artists and curators.” “Not Tony Smith” is “an installation questioning the roles of public art.” The University of Saint Francis F8 Photoclub has a group exhibit called “The End of the World Show,” which shows their different visions of how the world could end, in honor of the Mayan 2012 prediction.

Some upcoming events to mark your calendars with are the inaugural Fort Wayne Fringe Festival (January 31-Februray 3) and their new exhibits, which start February 16. In one gallery, there is a two-woman exhibition exploring figure studies, and in another, there will be a regional survey of contemporary art. There will also be a second installation called “Not Tara Donavon,” that explores the role of the public in the production of art.

Wunderkammer Company is a non-profit, meaning that the gallery survives through donations. It would be encouraged that after checking out their amazing gallery, you give a little, so other people can enjoy and interact with the art. Being a non-profit also means that the Company helps the community as well. Beyond increasing Fort Wayne’s exposure to various arts and cultures, Wunderkammer is helping others create art and memories through the medium of photography. They are serving as a center to donate gently used digital cameras, batteries, memory cards, and gift cards to the families at Vincent House. The University of Saint Francis School of Creative Arts Public Relations Society and F8 members are leading this fundraiser and “urge local residents to give new life to their old cameras.” The fundraiser runs from MLK Day to April 22, for more information about other donation stations, call the School of Creative Arts at (260) 399-7700 ext. 8001.