On October 3rd, at the Art Lottery Fundraiser, Shake Rag Alley officially opens the Lind Pavilion, named in memory of John Lind, a member of Shake Rag Alley’s board of directors who died in 2014.
Shake Rag’s transformation of the old Quonset hut into the Lind Pavilion would not have happened without John Lind and the Lind family, shown below.
Yes, there were many other contributors, but the Linds were instrumental in making it happen and bringing it home.
In case you weren’t fortunate to know John Lind, here’s a little background.
John retired to his farm just outside of Dodgeville in the mid-1990’s after working at the Chicago Board of Trade for 25 years. He spent his retirement serving the community, while his wife Carla ran a store in Dodgeville called Thistle Hill. John put his financial experience and “big picture” way of thinking to use by serving on the Iowa County Board, and as a board member for several area organizations, including the Hodan Center and Shake Rag Alley. John’s contribution to Shake Rag was “critical” to the growth and success of Shake Rag over the years, according to Don Hay, former President of the Shake Rag Board. “John’s positive outlook and ‘can do’ spirit were tremendous assets to Shake Rag Alley.”
A few years ago, when John noticed the Quonset hut building was for sale and that it adjoined the Shake Rag property, he immediately saw the potential. He helped persuade the board to purchase the building even though it would add yet another old building to care for, and even though it was a century younger than the structures on the Shake Rag property. John could see the need for the large, indoor, flexible space, and helped convince the board of its value.
Meanwhile, Jay Homan, an old friend of John’s from the Board of Trade, had put down a deposit on the building. John asked him to let Shake Rag purchase it instead and donate the deposit. He kindly agreed and Shake Rag purchased the Quonset Hut with a generous donation from John and Linda Hurley, matched by the MacArthur Foundation.
As Carla Lind explains, her husband “was ecstatic about what this building could add to Shake Rag. He had always been fascinated by the quirky appearance of these rounded shapes set as counterpoints in the world of rectangles and imagined the doors it would open for the art center.”
By the time John got sick in 2013, the design options offered by Taliesin architects and Amber Westerman were taking shape. Sadly, John had to slowly back away, but Carla reports that “he followed the progess closely and was enthralled with the design options.” By 2014, the first phase of the construction was done, but with limited funds, the completion of the project was put on the back burner.
Carla explains how the Linds stepped in to finish the project: “When John died in 2014, our son Chris suggested that we do something tangible as a lasting legacy to John’s community involvement. Since the Quonset hut was his most recent passion, we asked what we could do to see it completed. Our friends and family all saw this as a bridge that connected us with his life and visions.”
Not only have the Linds contributed monetarily, but Carla Lind has coordinated the completion of the project, working with Ken Wallace Construction and a host of local contractors and community partners, many of whom donated or discounted services and materials. Carla utilized her background in preservation management, and has found it “healing to help finish the job that John started. I think he would be awestruck by the results.”
Carla sees countless uses for the building. “In addition to being a spacious, inspiring, classroom, performance, rehearsal, meeting, and event space for Shake Rag, it will be available for rental to arts groups and for private gatherings. Hopefully it will always inspire creativity and good times.”
To fully appreciate the transformation of the old Quonset hut into the Lind Pavilion, take a look at these pictures (courtesy of the Mineral Point Archives). The first photo is from 1949 and they progress from there.
To see the Lind Pavilion for yourself, head to the Shake Rag Art Lottery this Saturday, October 3, 2015 at 7 p.m.. It’s a fundraiser to support Shake Rag Alley and everyone is invited! Call Shake Rag to purchase one of the limited number of tickets still available – 608-987-3292. Point Five is playing and you get to take home an original piece of art. It should be a lot of fun.
Contributed by Lisa Hay, with a major assist from Carla Lind