First Thursday gives Muncie locals a chance to showcase their art

First Thursday is an event in DWNTWN Muncie the first Thursday of every month that showcases art created by local artists. (Joseph McKeigue/DN)

The first Thursday of every month, Muncie Community Events holds an event in DWNTWN Muncie titled, “First Thursday. First Thursday gives local artists a chance to highlight their work to the community by allowing guests to walk through a gallery of their artwork. 

Artists show people their process and how they were able to accomplish many of their pieces. From 5-8 p.m., guests are able to find different artists in different locations around DWNTWN Muncie, one of which being Cornerstone Center for the Arts. 

Leon Crosby, an Education Coordinator at Cornerstone, along with his wife Laura, were among the artists featured during First Thursday. The Crosbys said they have been working jointly on galleries for four years, while Leon had previously worked on his own galleries for two additional years. 

Leon described his art as, “anime and street inspired, where graffiti meets anime,” while Laura described her art as “Earthy and abstract.” 

Those in attendance saw these styles highlighted in their work, as Leon featured recognizable characters from the popular anime series, “Dragon Ball Z”, while adding his own artistic flair to them. Though their pieces were a part of the same gallery, Laura’s art contrasted from her husband’s, focusing more on vibrant, colorful and unique takes.

As their two styles came together, decades old characters, like the Cheshire Cat from “Alice in Wonderland '' or a seemingly simple mermaid, were able to become unique. An additional feature of each painting is different parts of the piece glow if a black light is shone on it.

Nancy Umbach, who goes to different art shows and galleries to find new works of art for her collection, also expressed her appreciation for the Crosby’s gallery. A new resident to Muncie, Nick Martin, who has a Master’s degree in drawing and painting, praised their style of art. 

“It’s very graphic,” Martin said. “[There are a] Lot of different ideas going through it.” 

Laura talked about how her adoration for the art scene around Muncie propelled her to get involved in it. 

“We love the art scene here, we have been both embraced by it,” Laura said. “We’ve really gotten involved in the art scene for at least a decade now.” 

Leon and Laura Crosby said they feel like art connects with people and brings people together.

“Art is for everyone, it’s for everybody,” they said. “You don’t have to be perfect and sometimes it’s the imperfections that are the most beautiful.”

Contact Joseph McKeigue with comments via email at


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