Beloit Art Center honors Sveum for his dedication
Gallery named after long-time center promoter
CLINT WOLF - Beloit Daily News
BELOIT — Jerry Sveum has been working behind the scenes and at the front door of the Beloit Art Center for over a decade, making sure the community has a place where art can be appreciated and where artists can display their works.
Now, Sveum’s name will forever be a part of the art center as the main gallery at the downtown art center was named the Sveum Gallery during a ceremony Saturday.
“We just thought it was time to honor him for all his work here,” said Dawn Stadelman, a member of the Beloit Art Center Board.
Stadelman was the board member who suggested naming the gallery after Sveum. The board unanimously approved the idea.
Gary Dencker, the current Beloit Art Center board president, said he couldn’t list all the things Sveum has done for the art center, because they are so numerous.
“He is the ultimate promoter of the art center,” Dencker said. “Jerry talked me into joining the board.”
Sveum has been a board member and a past board president for the art center. He also established relationships with area artists and art groups.
He has maintained contacts with area art teachers so student art exhibits could be put together. He has served as master of ceremonies for the First Friday artist receptions. He has hung paintings on the walls and arranged art pieces in the two galleries at the art center.
But, there is no job too small nor too menial for Sveum, Dencker said. He has been known to paint walls, plant flowers or pull weeds and work on the plumbing at the art center.
On Saturday, art center supporters, friends and family members gathered at the art center to surprise Sveum with the honor. It was a double celebration with a birthday cake being served, since Sveum will turn 80 years old on May 15.
Sveum’s two sons, Scott and Tim, attended the ceremony Saturday, as did his sister, Joanie Allison.
“He’s been curating this are center for 15 years,” said Scott Sveum, who traveled from Vail, Colorado for the event.
Sveum is well known in the community. He was a pharmacist at Grand Avenue Pharmacy, with his partner and fellow- pharmacist, Art Carl, who also was present at the gallery naming event.
Sveum said he was truly surprised by the honor.
“I thought it was a joke,” he said about his reaction to all the people turning out for him. “This is wonderful. I truly appreciate it.”
The Beloit Art Center is at 520 E. Grand Ave. It offers monthly art exhibits in the Sveum and Bell galleries as well as art and photography classes.
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