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Industrial Arts Center's Growth Spurt

The Gulfport center is a hub for creativity.

Gulfport’s Industrial Arts Center is just three years old, but it already shows the wisdom of the ages.

The nonprofit is embedded in the community, popular with locals and visitors alike. A lot people are looking to get a piece of the artistic opporunity that lies within the IAC.

“We have people come in from all over the world to take classes with us,” said President of the IAC, Lynn Divenuti. “It’s phenomenal how much we’ve grown in such a short period of time.”

Divenuti became president in 2009, after being “drafted” from the treasurer post. Although she was around when the IAC opened, Divenuti says she was busy with her business development firm. This made it difficult for her to commit a lot of time to it.

It wasn’t long before she was hooked and Divenuti says that she has been ever since.

“I just love it here and I love being a part of this,” said Divenuti.

The Industrial Arts Center is located in the Gulfport Art Village Courtyard, right next to . Artists teach glass blowing workshops on a regular basis, and the schedule at the IAC just keeps getting busier.

Adults and kids are soaking up the fun of blowing glass. Some schools even take field trips to the IAC. Now, Divenuti and Co. have developed a children's program to encourage the next generation of artists.

Renowned glass blowing artist and founder of the IAC, Jackie Ballard, is a regular at the workshop. Along side Ballard are five other experienced glassblowing artists.

First time glassblowers can choose from creating a $40 vase to a $65 bowl. Customers choose their own color schemes and learn the ins and outs of the process and art form known as glassblowing.

Workshops are a great gift idea, date night option or a creative outlet for the artistically driven individual.

There is also seating out front of the IAC and for no charge, guests can come observe the pros.

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