Introducing you to the concept is this Welcome to Indiana bison at the Indiana Arts Building (formerly the Home & Family Arts Building), which has a giant ear of corn on it because of course it does.
Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:
It’s that time again! The Indiana State Fair is an annual celebration of Hoosier pride, farming, food, and 4-H, with amusement park rides, cooking demos, concerts by musicians that other people love, and farm animals competing for cash prizes and herd bragging rights. My wife and I attend each year as a date-day to seek new forms of creativity and imagination within a local context.
In Part One we covered this year’s food, both the delicious and the deadly. In Part Two, the Parkour Show starring acrobatic dudes. This time we bring you highlights from Indiana’s Bison-tennial Public Art Project, a statewide collaboration between the United Way and any interested parties down with the intent to create one art-covered bison statue for each of the Hoosier State’s 92 counties in honor of our upcoming 200th statehood anniversary in December 2016.
(The bison for our very own Marion County stands downtown in front of the Indianapolis – Marion County Public Library and I can’t believe I haven’t posted pics of it here. Remind me to come back to that one sometime.)
The State Fairgrounds had two bison indoors, including the one in the lead photo. The other was at the Bicentennial Pavilion (formerly the Pioneer Our Land Pavilion) along with several other Bicentennial exhibits that’ll feature in the next Indiana State Fair photo gallery.
Prominent Hoosier features on this amalgamated bison include our entire state flag, cardinals, a nod to Native Americans, and Jim Davis’ Garfield.
Twenty-five other bison statues were herded on a grassy square on the north end of the fairground next to the Farm Bureau Building (pretty much always the Farm Bureau Building). The following is not a complete collection, but rather a selection of bison art imagery that stood out to me while I was scrolling through my wife’s photos again and again and again and again. She’s really excited about Indiana’s Bicentennial and made sure we had plenty of Bison-centennial coverage.
Jackson County’s pink bison festooned with special-cause ribbons.
Kosciusko County’s lifeguard bison is ready for some tubin’.
Cass County’s bison stars Felix the Cat, mascot of Logansport High School since 1926 and reputedly Indiana’s very first high school mascot.
The Knox County bison is a study in fine art homage. On one side, cornstalks a la Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”…
…and on the other side, Vincennes University and other local institutions through the lens of Dali.
Wayne County returns to the cardinal motif but tosses in an American flag, in case you forgot where Indiana’s from.
Harrison County brings you Corydon, the original capital of Indiana and the site of the only Civil War battle to happen on Indiana soil. Hence the tiny Confederate flag representing the unwanted intruders.
Martin County would rather focus on nicer things such as fishing and nature.
Shelby County took more of a yearbook collage approach.
DeKalb County salutes old-timey transportation options. Also, of course, Indiana nature.
I like Jasper County’s industrial sunset, but animals are okay too.
St. Joseph County ups the ante with CAROUSEL FIRE BISON.
LaGrange County’s distinguishing features include Cook’s Hominy & Horseradish, an actual bison farm with over 500 furry residents, and popcorn, one of our state’s most popular products.
Hamilton County, which contains a few different affluent towns that began as Indianapolis suburbs, appears to be a phone app store simulator.
Quite a few of these bison were designed and executed by local libraries. Noble County’s offered some of the most legible books.
One of the best bison headpieces was the clock atop the DeKalb County Courthouse, which dates back to 1850.
Best Bison Armor goes to Jasper County, who turned the Indiana state flag into a bison crash helmet. I think it works.
To be continued!