Kokomo Art Center mixes art with history in new exhibit

·2 min read

Jul. 15—Josephine Hobson attended Indiana University Kokomo art classes at the Seiberling Mansion. Years later, after she became a Howard County Museum curator, Hobson transformed the vacant mansion into a museum.

Hobson's artwork will be on display at the Kokomo Art Center, 525 W. Ricketts St., until the end of August.

The exhibit primarily features oil paintings, said Lesley Wysong, curator at the Kokomo Art Center. However, there are also several painted porcelain plates.

Although several paintings were already in the Art Center's collection, more were brought in by Hobson's family and friends.

"This is kind of bringing art and history together," Wysong said. She added Hobson was once the Kokomo Art Association's president.

Wysong also worked with the Howard County Historical society while organizing the exhibit. Several documents that help illustrate Hobson's efforts to preserve the mansion will be on display.

The Seiberling Mansion had been vacant for seven years before Hobson transformed it into a museum. Before the mansion, Howard County artifacts had been stored in the basement of the Kokomo courthouse.

Before dying Feb. 20, 1999, she also played a key role in adding the mansion to the National Register of Historic Places.

"If Josephine hadn't taken it upon herself and become passionate about restoring and raising money, we wouldn't have the Seiberling mansion that we have today," Wysong said. "She's someone that people really don't know about, but she's really a treasure. She was a treasure to the community. So I love what she did."

The exhibit also features a portrait of Hobson painting, created by one of her colleagues. The painting Hobson is shown working on in the portrait will be featured in the exhibit as well.

The Kokomo Art Center is open 1-4 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. However, Wysong said special arrangements can be made to view the exhibit on other days by reaching her at artisfunlnw@aol.com.

James Bennett III can be reached at 765-454-8580 or james.bennett@kokomotribune.com.