You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

breaking news

Inmate escapes from Tri-County Regional Jail in Champaign County

Springfield artist hoping gallery draws residents downtown


A Springfield artist recently expanded his studio, hoping to showcase his work and that of other area artists to draw more residents downtown.

Doug Frates has operated his glass studio at the former Meeks Building on Fountain Avenue for about two years. Running with Scissors, a local retailer, shared the space and sold products at the front of the store, but recently moved out of the 6,000-square-foot storefront about four months ago. Instead of seeking a new business partner, Frates expanded into the available space and will highlight his glasswork along with work from other artists throughout the region.

He is also hoping customers provide feedback and suggestions on other ways his studio can help promote art in the community.

“This could be a niche Springfield has that wasn’t available before,” Frates said.

A St. Louis native, Frates served in Iraq in the U.S. Marines before settling in Arizona to perfect his craft of designing hand-blown glass. However, he eventually settled in Springfield because of the opportunities available and the lower cost of living.

The business has been successful, and Frates works with three full-time employees and two contractors to produce original artwork for his customers.

The studio has already been a draw for residents during events like First Fridays, a monthly event to highlight downtown, said Bill Harless, executive director of the Center City Association. A garage door at the front of the business can be opened, allowing residents to wander in off the street to browse the artwork on display.

“I see Doug’s business as a catalyst for the rest of downtown,” Harless said.

Several recent investments have been made throughout the downtown area, including an investment from the city to turn a portion of Fountain Avenue in front of the store into a two-way street.

Frates said he believes his studio can play a part in making downtown more attractive to residents.

“I think it’s going to come around, and when it does it’s going to be a really neat area,” Frates said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Time running out on Premier, UnitedHealthcare negotiations
Time running out on Premier, UnitedHealthcare negotiations

Negotiations between southwest Ohio’s largest health system, Dayton-based Premier Health, and UnitedHealthcare, the nation’s largest health insurance company, remained at a standstill Thursday with the first deadline for their contract to expire rapidly approaching. UnitedHealthcare’s contract with Premier hospitals is set to expire...
Family says man beaten, left for dead after winning lottery
Family says man beaten, left for dead after winning lottery

Someone beat up and killed a man who won thousands from a scratch-off lottery ticket. Police aren't saying much about this case but the victim's family told WSB-TV that Charles Barrett’s debit card was stolen and used. They say 59-year-old Barrett had deposited a $17,000 check for his winnings from a $2 lottery scratch-off a little over...
Central State taken off fiscal watch as Wright State edges toward it
Central State taken off fiscal watch as Wright State edges toward it

As Central State University exits fiscal watch by the state, Ohio’s higher education chief warned that Wright State University could be on the brink of entering it. Chancellor John Carey visited CSU early Thursday to make the university’s improved financial position official. “You went through some very rough times and made some very...
Drive thru victim reports robbery at knifepoint
Drive thru victim reports robbery at knifepoint

A man working at the Oooh Ooh Drive Thru in Springfield told police a man threatened him with a knife and fled with cash around 2:30 Wednesday afternoon, according to a report by the Springfield Police Division. The man told police he was in the drive-thru portion of the business at 1359 W. First St. when he heard the front door bell go off. A man...
Feds raid Benny Hinn ministries
Feds raid Benny Hinn ministries

A nationally known televangelist who came to prominence in Florida has become the target of a federal warrant. Federal agents on Wednesday raided the offices of Benny Hinn near Dallas. The search began about 9 a.m. Wednesday at Hinn's headquarters in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of Grapevine, near Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. According...
More Stories