A new art gallery is set to open on the campus of Glen Oaks Community College. The Flora Kirsch Beck Gallery, named after a Sturgis resident who was an avid artist and generous philanthropist, will open in conjunction with the Glen Oaks Concourse Reveal and Ribbon Cutting on Wednesday, April 24 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
“The late Flora Kirsch Beck believed in the importance of the arts,” said Dr. David Devier, Glen Oaks president. “We have connected with her family and are excited about the opportunity to have the gallery serve as a tribute to her and her passion for the arts and education. She served on both the Glen Oaks Board of Trustees and Foundation Board.”
The 540-square foot gallery is located on the north end of the concourse. The space includes a dedicated HVAC system to ensure climate control. Insulated glass panel walls provide for maximum viewing and acoustics, while maintaining accurate temperature. The project was funded primarily through the Flora Kirsch Beck fund, with supplemental funding from the Sturgis Community Foundation.
“We planned the space on the grand concourse to showcase art to the students and all who use the concourse,” said Devier. “We are excited about bringing the arts back into the limelight at the college, and look forward to future exhibits on all levels from amateur to professional.”
A graduate of the University of Michigan, Kirsch Beck moved to Sturgis following her marriage in 1924 to Guy W. Kirsch, son of the Kirsch Company co-founder C. W. Kirsch. She served on many boards in in the community and region including the Sturgis Young Auditorium and Alma College.
“My mother would surely love the gallery’s striking placement within the beautiful grand concourse,” said Judy Kirsch Van Solkema, daughter of the late Flora Kirsch Beck. “She would love that students will live every day with art as part of their college experience. It was her ideal.”