Indiana State University Newsroom

Local artist named first director of the Community School of the Arts

June 21, 2012

Petra Nyendick, an active member of the Terre Haute arts community, has been named director of Indiana State University's Community School of the Arts.

The school is one of eight new programs Indiana State is funding through its Unbounded Possibilities initiative. The school provides hands-on arts learning experiences for children, youth, and adults in the Wabash Valley while providing ISU students who are majoring in the arts opportunities for experiential learning through teaching.

Nyendick founded the Halcyon Contemporary Art Gallery at the Sheldon Swope Art Museum in 2006 and served as its director until 2011. She also served as curator of Indiana State's Turman Art Gallery from 2009-2011. She is currently director of the Summer Youth Arts Program at the Swope, a position she has held since 2008.

Her works have been featured in exhibitions in Terre Haute and Toronto. In 2010, she was recognized with a Bravo! The Arts! Award for exceptional leadership. She is a member of Art Spaces, Arts Illiana and the Swope Art Museum and Swope Alliance.

"Petra has been an extremely visible member of the artistic community in Terre Haute for a number of years, and the (selection) committee feels that she brings outstanding experience and expertise to the CSA," said Nancy Cobb Lippens, director of the ISU School of Music. "Her passion for how this project benefits the community is apparent."

Nyendick said she is thrilled to accept the position as inaugural director of the new school.

"My strong belief is that the arts are essential for a healthy and vibrant community and improve the quality of life," she said. "The CSA will enable the greater community to engage in lifelong learning opportunities and appreciation of the arts and to experience the benefits of arts programming in music, theater and the visual arts."

In addition to her work with the Swope, Nyendick has also had a career as a graphic designer, working in Indianapolis, the Chicago area and in Toronto.

A native of Toronto, Nyendick received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in graphic design and painting from York University. She earned her Master of Fine Arts in painting and sculpture from Indiana State in 2011.

Programs for the fall are currently in the planning phase. For more information about Indiana State's Community School of the Arts, contact Nyendick at 812-237-2575.

Contact: Nancy Cobb Lippens, director of the Indiana State University School of Music, 812-237-2771

Writer: Paula Meyer ISU Communications and Marketing, 812-237-3783 or