Runde Service Truck Becomes Art Bag on Wheels

jordan-degree-11I got a chance to do an intense question-answer session with Jordan DeGree, founder of the Dubuque Art Center, on his way out of the dealership with our community support vehicle.

So Jordan, you are taking the Community support vehicle today, what are you planning on doing with it?

Well, the Dubuque Art Center is moving into a new location – the first floor of the Platinum building at 137 Main street. As an art center, we have a lot of rather large equipment like pottery wheels, furniture, shelving… etc. — so having a large vehicle makes that move a whole  lot easier.

dsc_0019Interesting, so what made you want to start the art center?

I moved back from Chicago where I lived for a few years. After being influenced by the art centers there, I decided that an art center is something that Dubuque could use and that there is a need for it. Seeing how happy people were and how much fun they were having at the centers in Chicago, we decided that Dubuque could use it.

postcard-front318What’s happening to the old building?

The old building, I believe, is going to be rented out to a law firm. When we were in there it was a pretty undeveloped warehouse space, so moving to the Platinum building, which is a finished space, is a great upgrade for us.

So what, exactly, does the art center offer?

The Brick Oven Studio, which is now The Dubuque Art Center as of October, changed its name and became a non profit organization.  Currently we offer 17 different art classes open to adults as well as youth. Our mission is community through creativity. We really believe in the power of creativity and people experiencing creative thinking to build connections between people to strengthen the community so that it becomes a fun place where people will want to live.

postcard-front319How big are the classes?

Classes are limited to eight people so that the students can receive individual attention. Each student can receive unique help this way.  

Who teaches the classes?

Staff teaches the classes, including some professors from the Art Institute of Chicago.

Sounds like it would be a great time!

Oh yea it is. People have a lot of fun in the center.

dsc_0005So is this your first trip moving out with the community vehicle?

No, I borrowed the vehicle on Monday to move more of the bigger stuff – which took two trips. This time I hope to move everything in one trip.  

Congratulations on your new business and what seems to be a strong backing from the community.   Any plans for the future?

We have plans to open up the ceramic cafe, which is a “paint your own pottery” studio –  it will openin June. We are also opening up a design store which sells handmade products such as furniture, housewares, clothing, clothing accessories, and toys that will be made by local as well as national artists.

dsc_0007Thank you very much for explaining your organization to us.   Any last comments you’d like to make?

The Runde Community Truck made  my life a lot easier. All the volunteers were all very impressed, too.  They said “wow this is a great vehicle, they let you use this for free?” And I responded: “Yep!”   You know, as long as it’s a community organization, I believe.”

Jordan isn’t mistaken in his assumption that Runde’s lets local organizations borrow the large community truck for their needs. We here at Runde’s would like to help the community any way we can. That’s why we offer to loan out our community truck to non-profit organizations for their needs free of charge. And if a driver is not available to drive the truck, we can supply a driver upon request. It’s just our little way of saying “thank you for making the Tri-State area a better place.”

1 Comment

  1. […] Jordan Degree, of the Dubuque Art Center, was in this week to pick up a vehicle for the Art Center. Last year I had the opportunity to get to know Jordan and learn about what the Art Center offered the community.  This year we got an update from Jordan […]


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