Robert Howsare, the new manager of the gallery space, addresses the Colonial Arts Center Board at its most recent meeting. (Photo by Monica Zalaznik)

Colonial Arts Center Board dispenses with M.I.B. moniker, renaming art gallery inside new facility

BUCKHANNON – The Colonial Arts Center Board voted to change the name of the art gallery in the Colonial Arts Center.

The CAC Board voted to officially change the name of the gallery during their March 5 meeting.

The gallery initially opened as the M.I.B. Gallery—or the Men in Black Gallery—in honor of author Gray Barker, who had connections to the theater and the Buckhannon-Upshur community. According to the City of Buckhannon’s website, Barker was a prolific science fiction writer and “arguably the most famous Ufologist in history” who managed the theater from 1971 to 1980.

The board voted to change the name to the CAC Art Gallery, so it has uniformity with the rest of the facility. Board member Keith Buchanan said naming rights for the gallery are also available at $50,000.

Robert Howsare, the new manager of the gallery space, said most people he spoke to didn’t know what the M.I.B. Gallery stood for, and he was willing to try new marketing materials utilizing the “Men in Black” theme.

“A lot of people don’t know what M.I.B. stands for, and we could do something as simple as mounting a plaque denoting its meaning, or we could approach Liz Pavlovic from ‘Keep on Creepin’ On’—she does the little Mothman stickers and Flatwoods Monster stickers you see at Stone Tower Brews,” Howsare said. We could ask her if she would draw a little logo or Men in Black stickers.”

Howsare said he knew they did a UFO Day a couple of years ago, and events like that would be a good way to embrace the gallery’s name and bring in a crowd.

“That’s a good thought,” Howsare remarked. “I think there’s also the ability to sell the naming rights and name it something like, ‘M.I.B. Gallery brought to you by PNC Bank.’ There might be an opportunity for something like that.”

Buckhannon City Recorder and CAC Board member Randy Sanders. (Photo by Monica Zalaznik)

City recorder Randy Sanders said if they do sell the naming rights, he would still rather have the gallery named after the CAC itself.

“I think it would be easier to name it the ‘CAC gallery brought to you by PNC Bank’ or something along those lines; I think that’s less confusing,” Sanders said. “The name and style could change depending on the amount of the donation. If it comes in strong, then we can consider that when that time comes.”

The board voted unanimously to change the name of the M.I.B. Gallery to the CAC Art Gallery.

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