What is the history behind the building and the gallery’s name, Studio 230?
Mr. Ned Mitchell gave the following history about the building:
About the time when Delta State Teachers College (Delta State University) was established in the 1920’s, A.W. Shands, a progressive, local attorney, and his sister-in-law, Lucy Somerville Howarth (also an attorney), went to a legal seminar/conference in Belgium. While there, they observed that many of the buildings and streets were built over water. Shands supposedly told his sister, Lucy, “we need to do something like this in Cleveland to cover up Jones Bayou”.
So, Shands and a man with the last name of Robinson approached the City Board about tearing away the bridge that crossed Jones Bayou on South Court Street and about constructing a long culvert through which the bayou could flow. Then, they actually were ceded “air rights” from the city and later built two buildings (the Ellis Theater and the Oguz’s building) over the culvert which provides a very stable foundation to this day.
Shands is also credited with being the visionary who foresaw the possibility of a teacher’s college here and was an organizer of the task force that convinced the legislature to establish Delta State Teachers College in 1924. Shands built the Oguz’s building which was originally designed to be his dry cleaning business. The southwest corner of his business had a painted sign of an old fashioned telephone with a rotary dial. The slogan around the telephone read, “When Clothes Are Dirty, phone 230”. 230 was the business’s telephone number from 1933 to the early 1950s. It only seemed fitting to the Oguzs that the gallery’s name pay homage to Mr. A.W. Shands, one of Cleveland and Delta State University’s founding fathers. Cleveland is where the Oguzs call home, and Delta State is where Cetin Oguz has been employed as a professor of art since 2003.