Artist rendition of the Steeple Gallery [photo by Paul Benninghoff]


Epiphanies loom at The Steeple Gallery

Art is resilient and resourceful. It creeps in, takes root and thrives in the most unexpected of places. It nourishes our minds, hearts and souls.

The aptly named Steeple Gallery in St. John opened about a dozen years ago in the formerly hallowed halls of an Assembly of God Church. (Legend has it the person who built the church was called upon by a higher power to bring it into existence.)

The owner, Samantha Dalkilic-Miestowski, said it came into her possession in an unusual way. She was in the process of renovating a hardware store in Cedar Lake when her father bought the old church to convert it into office space. The two of them decided the church would better serve as space for a gallery.

It’s tucked away just south of a plaza on U.S. 41 in St. John. It offers a selection of fine art, antique prints and religious pieces dating back to the 18th century.

The Steeple Gallery has the appearance of a museum, but the atmosphere is warm and inviting. Samantha encourages people to visit and experience the emotion and resonance of the pieces, even if they don’t come strictly as customers.

Within its walls you’ll find the works of artists who have pieces in museums near and far. Some of the artists currently or formerly represented at the Steeple Gallery include Roland Kulla, Judy Crawford, Charles Gniech, Fred Holly and Julie Sklar. All of those artists have had their pieces displayed at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Fred Holly and Julie Sklar also have the Anchorage Museum of Art on their resume. Others have had their works appear in the Indiana State Museum of Art.

The gallery’s also a cultural hub. It’s always busy with exhibits, artist receptions, educational programs and lectures that are open to the public. It even hosted a reception for the Miss America pageant in 2002. Its cup runneth over with beauty.

A sculpture major at Ball State, Samantha has a lot of experience in the art field. She studied in France at the Lacoste School of the Arts. She worked at a gallery in Scotland where they converted a cobblestone room into a gallery with nothing but 1920s technology and manpower for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Samantha also interned with professional sculptor John David Mooney.

With those talents and worldly experience, Samantha brought an independent-minded business to The Region. It’s a great place to spend a quiet afternoon and take in some culture. Your home or business might benefit from a selection or two from its array of pieces.

And don’t forget to have a chat with Samantha.

The Steeple Gallery, 11107 Thiel St., is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, by appointment only Sunday and closed Monday. It offers services such as framing, consultation and decorating ideas tailored to personal tastes. Call (219) 365-1014 or visit for more information.