About Us

Our Mission + Story

The FAR Center for Contemporary Arts was created in 2018 to expand and nurture the local arts community. We support bridges between Bloomington and the broader art world. Our mission is to form an influential space for contemporary art and creativity of all kinds. We exist to question boundaries, awaken conversations, and shape community through empathic engagement.

FAR brings together photographers, poets, sculptors, illustrators, musicians, painters, and dancers in a multi-use space. Here, the arts are both shared and taught, through exhibits, lectures and workshops, and performances. Weddings and private event rentals help support these programs.


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It began with a passion for photography

Pictura Gallery was established in 2008 on the Bloomington square. Our vision for the gallery grew quickly and organically — to provide excellent and thought-provoking exhibitions for our city, while contributing our voice to the international dialogue on photography. 

As our mission grew to include other mediums, we realized our physical space needed to expand as well. The FAR Center for Contemporary Arts was designed to allow for new endeavors to co-exist with those that had already been created. Pictura’s new home inside of the FAR is a space that celebrates contemporary fine art photography as it continues to evolve. Here, photography can interact with other forms of art.

Click to learn more about Pictura Gallery.

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We believe spaces make things happen

To make artistry and collaboration an active part of our community, we must build space for it. Bloomington has a rich creative ecosystem, and we are honored to be a part of the local team that tends to it. The FAR was constructed to be a beautiful venue where ideas come to fruition.

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We believe art builds community

Art takes us away from our everyday routines and invites new experiences into our lives. The intention to create beauty for one another is a powerful force. The more we experience art together, the more connected we are as a community. The FAR houses projects and conversations between artists and non-artists, beginners and experts, and everyone in between.

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We take this mission seriously

The art world is constantly shifting. However, FAR’s essential mission- supporting our community through engagement with art — will never change. We will continue to uphold an active presence in Bloomington while creating and sustaining connections between our city and the broader arts world.


Meet the Team

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David Moore

Owner &

david@thefar.org

David leads the vision and strategy to create a contemporary arts center in Bloomington and the Midwest. At FAR he brings people together to create not only exhibits, but experiences, and works with a dedicated and talented staff to make it happen.

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Martha Moore

Founder

martha@thefar.org

Martha is passionate about nurturing talent and arts education. A long-time Bloomingtonian and mother of three, she brings decades of experience in elementary and secondary education into her role with Pictura Kids. Martha is chair of Bloomington’s First Friday Gallery Walk.

David and Martha Moore are the owners and founders of Pictura Gallery and FAR Center for Contemporary Arts. The Moores are world travelers, art collectors, and Bloomington locals who pour their energy into the creative community and celebrate the outcomes.

Our staff is made up of eight amazing women. Some of us grew up in Bloomington. Some of us work remotely. Some of us have young kids and some have pets. Some of us have side hustles and top secret super powers. We are all passionate about this community and believe in the power of creativity to bring people together, no matter where they come from.

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Lauren Kniss

Director

lauren@thefar.org

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Lisa Woodward

Co-Curator, Pictura Gallery

lisa@thefar.org

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Mia Dalglish

Co-Curator, Pictura Gallery

mia@thefar.org

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Daniela Panigada Cook

Creative Director

daniela@thefar.org

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Chaz Mottinger

Social Media Director + Staff Photographer

chaz@thefar.org

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Abigail Gardner

Private Events Coordinator

abigail@thefar.org

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Valarie Gasparovic

Wedding Coordinator

valarie@thefar.org

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McKenzi Gatlin

Building Manager

mckenzi@thefar.org

Building + History

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The Building

The FAR building serves as an inspiration for what’s possible inside its walls. FAR consists of four elegant spaces: the library, garden, gallery, and theater, all joined by an open atrium with a bar. Each of the spaces lends a different tone and scale. The library is an intimate and quiet place, ideal for educational workshops and meetings. Our garden is a peaceful refuge to relax outdoors. The modern gallery space is home to Pictura Gallery, with its rotating exhibits of contemporary photography. The building’s most spacious room is the 505 Theater, with lofty ceilings, a portable stage, and twelve foot garage doors that open to the street. The theater’s ambiance is perfectly suited for musical performances and collaborative arts.

History

Built in 1925, the building originally opened as the Roy Burns grocery store and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The FAR was thoughtfully reconfigured by architectural designers Lauren Bordes and Evan Cerilli, of the New York firm Malane Benedetto. While incorporating contemporary features and materials, the design respects the structure’s historical uniqueness, with much of the original brick, steel bow trusses, and wooden ceilings intact.

Ten years after opening Pictura Gallery, David and Martha Moore founded the Center to expand their vision of a collaborative arts space. Pictura moved down the hill to Fourth and Rogers, and into its new home within the FAR. The building has seen the town through many changes and now finds itself situated in the heart of an ever-changing creative neighborhood.

For a more detailed history, check out Cookman’s essay for the Limestone Post.


Make the FAR story part of your own

The FAR building is available to rent for performances, film screenings, weddings, and private events and more. We are able to offer significant discounts for 501c3 nonprofit organizations.