You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

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.


Welcome to

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.

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

Millennials and marriage

Are Millennials the most studied and written-about generation in American history? Feels like it, sometimes. The latest came from staff writer Max Filby, in a story about how many in the Millennial generation are getting married much later in life than their parents or grandparents. “The median age at first marriage for women has risen from around...
Ill New Carlisle boy, 4, gets to enjoy Disney
Ill New Carlisle boy, 4, gets to enjoy Disney

A Special Wish Foundation-Dayton Chapter is the only wish granting organization located in the Dayton region. For more information on how you can be part of granting a local child’s wish, go online to A child’s wish, no matter the age, is incredibly special. Almost all of us have looked into the night sky waiting...
Woman escorted off plane after berating Trump supporter
Woman escorted off plane after berating Trump supporter

Airline officials escorted a woman and her husband from a Seattle-bound flight over the weekend after she was filmed castigating a fellow passenger who supports President Donald Trump. Officials from Alaska Airlines confirmed to BuzzFeed News that a disruptive woman was taken off Alaska Airlines Flight 761 before it left Baltimore. "The female...
Have you been scammed? Police seek tips on wheelchair charity incident
Have you been scammed? Police seek tips on wheelchair charity incident

Detectives want to know if southwest Ohio residents have been scammed by a person claiming to collect money for a wheelchair basketball charity. Huber Heights detectives are investigating a man arrested Friday after a Rural King manager stated a male in the store’s lobby was soliciting for the Columbus Wheelchair Basketball Club. The club&rsquo...
What is TPP, and why is it important?
What is TPP, and why is it important?

Donald Trump signed a notice Monday starting the United States’ withdrawal from the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. The trade deal, signed by 12 countries last February, must be ratified by all 12 members to go into effect. It aims to slash tariffs and boost trade among Pacific Rim nation members. Here’s a quick look at the...
More Stories