Blooming Out of Trauma

Blooming Out of Trauma Opening Reception

Marshall J. Gardner Center For The Arts

The Intersection of Upholstery and Activist Art

Jamika Smith in Collaboration and Exhibition

Free and open to the public.

In recognition of Black History month, Gary artist Jamika Smith has created an installation of furniture that traces the complexities of the Black experience in America. In her art practice, Smith repurposes old and abandoned furniture, reupholstering the pieces in a creative context. For this exhibit, Smith worked collaboratively with community artists including painters, sculptors, and poets to create fourteen works that trace a peoples’ history from the African Empire and slave trade, through Jim Crow and Civil rights eras, to contemporary experiences. Each piece, presented as a lovely, inviting object, at closer look reveals a hidden story in visual or written form. These works act as Smith says, “as a unique and compelling entry point for people to examine and engage in critical discussions about the traumas and triumphs of African and Black History.” Many of community artists who collaborated on these works, among them Ish Muhammed, Rhondalyn Cox, and Nancy Hejna, have previously exhibited at the Gardener Center gallery.

Jamika Smith is a Board Member of the MBACD and is exhibiting in the Marshall J Gardner Center for the Arts for the second time in as many years — previously as part of the Community Show, 2022. Her ‘Miller Chair’ that was created as part of the ‘Soul of The City’ project sits at the front entrance to the gallery.

The opening reception on Feb 2 features catering from Caribbean Roots and a performance by drummers Oshun'ala Falagbe and Mr. Olsbisi.

Jamika Smith is an artist and upholsterer, founder of Teena’s Legacy, and an MBACD board member. In honor of African and Black History Month, Teena’s Legacy will curate a dynamic exhibit in the spirit of African tradition and strong community heritage. Jamika will present an exceptional, one-of-a-kind art experience, showcasing established and emerging artists from the Northwest Indiana Region and the Chicagoland area. 

February 2nd–March 8th

Event Hours:

Blooming Out of Trauma Itinerary

Blooming Out of Trauma Opening Reception
Friday, Feb. 2nd
6 – 9 pm
Blooming Out of Trauma Private Event for Donors
Saturday, Feb. 3rd
6 – 9 pm
Blooming Out of Trauma Artist Talk
Sunday, Feb. 25th
2 – 4 pm
The Black Experience Martin Luther King and Beyond
Friday, Mar. 8th
7 – 10 pm
Loading Map....

“Blooming Out of Trauma Opening Reception” is part of the larger “Blooming Out of Trauma” event.

Upcoming events


Sue Reyman & Ginny Takacs Floral photography and paintings


Reefer Madness!!! The Musical
Rashelle Roos & Joe Agati Paintings and sculpture
Closing Matinee


Cydney Lewis & Art Garcia Collage and paintings


Felix Maldonado Selected paintings


Gallery break Our gallery will be closed in late January while we prepare for our 2024 community show.


2024 Community Show Artists from Gary, Connected to Gary, that have not been exhibited in our gallery
View past events

Miller Beach Arts & Creative District

Mailing address:

P.O. Box 2405, Gary, IN 46403

Gallery Location:

Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts
540 S. Lake Street, Gary, IN 46403
Open Friday and Saturday, 6—8pm, and Sunday 2—4. Find us on , , and Instagram.