By Abbey Doyle
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
Madison county is rich with art — both public art displays and talented local artists, so it makes sense that the community’s visitor’s center would reflect that, said Tom Bannon, executive director of the Anderson/Madison County Visitors & Convention Bureau.
The center has been featuring exhibits of local artists and photographers since 2000.
“We want to not only welcome people to our community but we also want to promote the community,” Bannon said. “These exhibits are a great way to do both of those things. It is a way to get people to come in the center to see the art of local residents and promote the things we have in this community.
On display through the end of the year are works by pastel portrait artist Beverly Mills and photographer Stephanie Metz — both of Anderson.
Mills, president of the Art Association of Madison County, said the exhibit is a great way to help keep art in the forefront of the community. The goals of the association include keeping arts in the schools and alive in the community.
“It is important for travellers to know that we have an art community here,” Mills said of the exhibits at the visitor’s center. “Art and music are critical to our community; and I feel like it is being put on the back burner because of financial concerns in the community, so the art association does its part to keep art and artists in the public.”
Pieces in her exhibit include her “scary” self-portrait, a portrait of her granddaughter, landscapes and some still life.
Metz has been doing photography off and on for the past 30 years and most of her work is of places or people from Madison County. Many of the pieces at the exhibit include photographs of area landscape, horses and children, including one of her favorites of a local girl doing her final ride during a 4-H competition.
“She was riding past the grand stands at full speed,” Metz said. “It is a great shot and very meaningful because it was such an important ride for her. The photo captures everything it is about.”
The exhibit for Metz is an opportunity for her to promote the county through her photos and to give exposure to the art form of photography.
“As a photographer I see things that I may not have seen otherwise,” she said. “I appreciate things a whole lot more. My photographs give people a chance to see those things as well.”
Any of Metz’s photographs that don’t feature a person are for sale with all of the proceeds going to the Community Hospital Foundation. She is a physical therapist for the hospital.
Bannon said he thinks these exhibits — that are switched out every three months — are a great way to tell both those in Madison County and those visiting that Madison County has a lot of artistic talent.
“A community that has arts and culture as rich as we do should really promote that,” he said.
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