New directors promoting arts center offerings


Did you know there’s a regional arts center in Seymour?

If you did, you are aware of the art classes, private art lessons, summer concert series, pottery barn, antique print shop, kids art camp, fundraisers and other events.

If you didn’t, maybe it’s time to check it out.

Since November 2023, Southern Indiana Center for the Arts has been under the direction of new co-directors Sarah Julovich and Silas Cheo.

Julovich, who is from Bloomington, is the fiancée of former director Speck Mellencamp, and Cheo, who is from Maryland, is Mellencamp’s best friend from Rhode Island School of Design.

“Speck is still a volunteer. Speck is still super involved,” Julovich said. “As his art career is kind of taking off, he wanted to make sure that the arts center had someone that could devote a lot of time to it.”

Julovich and Cheo both were involved with the arts center before becoming directors, and they are excited to keep the momentum going.

“We are trying to grow the community, so that has been fun,” Cheo said.

For the last year and a half, the arts center has been consistently hosting workshops and classes on a monthly basis. Since Cheo became co-director, they have been offered nearly every Saturday.

His specialty is painting, so classes have focused on watercolor, abstract, oil and still life.

“We all have the freedom to cater the classes to what we like to do,” he said. “It’s really nice because I love painting, and I like showing people that they can paint and they can make these things. That’s what it took for me when I was growing up. I took a more rigid class, and I was like, ‘It’s still life. I don’t really know if I would even like that,’ but once you make it, it’s like, ‘Wow! I can do that.’ It’s fun watching people go, ‘Wow!’ when they do it.”

Julovich said Cheo has been doing an amazing job putting on weekly workshops.

“People keep asking for more, and he just keeps going with new ones,” she said.

Another type of class that has been offered is quilting, led by Julovich.

“For me, I love working with textiles because you become so laser focused on one little point, it’s really like a meditation,” she said. “It feels good. It’s good for your brain. It’s just positive.”

Other classes have been knitting, led by Georgiann Coons, and handbuilding and pottery, led by Megan Pottschmidt.

Pottschmidt said they hope to do more of those types of classes.

“We all have different things that would make us an artist, but they are all different things, so we want to make sure we offer that so people don’t think like, ‘Oh, because I can’t paint, then I can’t experience the joys of art,’” she said. “I’m from Brownstown, and I didn’t know all of this was here, and so that’s what helped me become really passionate about it. We want people to know that there’s a safe space in the community for that.”

Julovich said photography and spray painting classes are in the works, too.

“Sometimes, when you find your (niche), it just clicks and you have this moment where you feel like, ‘Oh, this is a worthwhile use of my time. It feels good,’” she said. “We want everyone to be able to experience that. … I think that’s part of our charm being so small is that we can take the classes to whatever we want.”

Looking at the roster for the recent popup still life painting class, Pottschmidt said six of the nine people were returning artists.

“We have a lot of people that are returning, which to me means that they are enjoying themselves and learning,” she said. “We help people of all different ages, all different backgrounds in art.”

SICA plans to continue workshops throughout the year and hopes to invite other people from the community to lead them.

“I’m just looking forward to more workshops,” Cheo said. “I think it has been fun, and I enjoy teaching them, so it’s great. We’ll do more oil painting, probably more watercolor, too, and then maybe get outside and do some plein air stuff when it’s warm out. It should be fun.”

Private art lessons for people of all ages are available, too.

Then in March, galleries return with a woman from Michigan displaying her quilts.

“We are always looking for artists to showcase their work,” Julovich said.

The kids art camp and outdoor concert series both will start in the summer.

To help fund the expansion of the art camp, SICA is hosting the inaugural Valentine’s Gala from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at The Pines Evergreen Room in Seymour.

The event will include hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, a silent auction, dancing and live music by The Ang Trio. Tickets are $60 and may be purchased online at, at the arts center or at the door.

“Kids art camp is a huge endeavor. It’s run by volunteers. It’s very inexpensive for the kids. We want to expand that to make it accessible to more kids,” Julovich said. “People want to know what their donations are going toward and just to see the activity in the building and just to know that your fundraiser is going toward something super helpful.”

Pottschmidt said those who attended SICA’s Artful Fair fundraiser in September had fun and enjoyed it, so she hopes for the same results with the new fundraiser.

“We have such great things planned … and we just want to spread the word and get it out there and just let people know that (the arts center) is there. I think that’s our main goal right now,” she said. “We’re just trying to get our name out there and spread the arts and spread everything we do.”

At a glance

Southern Indiana Center for Arts is at 2001 N. Ewing St., Seymour.

Hours are noon to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and by appointment. The pottery studio is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

For information, call 812-522-2278, visit or or email [email protected].

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