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      Bessemer church to become new art gallery

      Since 2011, the First Presbyterian Church has gone unused, and now Douglas Kikkebusch is transforming the space into a glass art gallery.

      "I'm really excited. I think it's going to bring something really different to the community," said Kikkebusch.

      For years, Kikkebusch had been looking for the perfect spot with enough space to display the glass he makes. He says the art of glass blowing is unique and wants to share that experience with others.

      "Taking something that's in a liquid form and manipulating it into a beautiful work of art," Kikkebusch said.

      Kikkebusch purchased the church for a dollar, but plans on remodeling it. He says the sanctuary will be the main art gallery, the lobby will be a spot to purchase a variety of glass.

      "The downstairs will be the workshop, so we'll have kilns down there. We'll be making glass down there. We plan on having classes and workshops," Kikkebusch explained.

      City officials are excited to see the building get repurposed in a way that will benefit the community. Kikkebusch Art Gallery is expected to be open for Thanksgiving of this year.