Photo Essay: Sparkle House, a hidden haven

Wednesday, December 23, 2020 - 4:23pm

Tucked away in the small city of Gary, Ind., is a haven for all levels of artists: the Sparkle House.

Tucked away in the small city of Gary, Ind., is a haven for all levels of artists: the Sparkle House. Buy this photo
Pauline Rajski

Inspiration can be a difficult thing to curate in a normal non-pandemic world. These past months, I had found myself feeling more hopeless and uninspired than ever in my life. As I spoke with friends and family, I kept hearing the same feelings of loneliness, desperation, boredom and fear arise. It felt as though everything in life was suddenly pointless and the world had finally revealed itself for its true nature: a rock full of hopeless individuals hurtling through space.

As for most, depression hit me harder than ever during these months of isolation. Particularly, a day in September marked the single worst day of my life. To have felt uninspired would have been the child story book description. As I searched for any possible way of surviving these dark days, I asked myself what had motivated and inspired me. As time went on, I discovered and rediscovered new passions for running, hiking, photography and painting. Keeping myself busy had become a challenging task when everything around me was closed and I was social-distancing.

It was within this context that I discovered one of the greatest hubs for inspiration I had ever experienced. 

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Pauline Rajski

Tucked away in the small city of Gary, Ind., is a haven for all levels of artists: the Sparkle House.

Tucked away in the small city of Gary, Ind., is a haven for all levels of artists: the Sparkle House. Buy this photo
Pauline Rajski

Tucked away in the small city of Gary, Ind., is a haven for all levels of artists: the Sparkle House. 

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Pauline Rajski

The Sparkle House was born out of a long abandoned house fueled simply by inspiration. The house was bought in September 2019 and has since been turned into a fury of color and artistic inspiration. The second you turn onto the 6th place, you see the bright pink shade signifying the Sparkle House and all of its glory. 

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Pauline Rajski

The Sparkle House is an Airbnb that hosts anyone and everyone. The place has two bedrooms where guests can stay, a beautifully decorated kitchen and a full blown artist studio where guests can use the art supplies for free. 

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Pauline Rajski

There is also a private art studio, Glitter Paste Studio, hidden in the basement, where two local artists work on their Market Soaps. 

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Pauline Rajski

The profits from the Airbnb also go toward a sculpture garden being built next door. 

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Pauline Rajski

I had discovered this wonderful haven when I decided I wanted to challenge myself to visit all 50 states before graduating college. I had a goal and I was finally feeling inspired.

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Pauline Rajski

This marvelous little home only fueled the inspiration more. 

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Pauline Rajski

Indiana was the 11th state I had visited. As I searched for a place to stay, I stumbled across this beauty by chance.

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Pauline Rajski

The second I laid eyes on it, I knew I had to go. 

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Pauline Rajski

I packed my bags, kidnapped a few friends and drove three and a half hours until I reached my destination. 

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Pauline Rajski

The first day, we spent our time painting, playing card games and enjoying the geniusly curated art all over the walls. 

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Pauline Rajski

The next day, we went hiking near the Indiana Dunes located only 20 minutes away from this gem. 

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Pauline Rajski

Then again, more painting and more free spirited expressions of ourselves. 

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Pauline Rajski

The greatest thing I learned during my short period at this home was not something new. Rather, I had remembered my passions again and the things I identify most with.

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Pauline Rajski

For some reason, starting college was so chaotic I had forgotten what motivated me and what kept me working hard. It was not until I had taken this break away from responsibilities, social media and anything related to technology that I was reminded of that. 

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Pauline Rajski

I strongly advise that if you are ever in Gary, Ind., you check out this safe haven designed for re-inspiring artists of all levels. 

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Pauline Rajski

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Pauline Rajski