The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Walking Man Project

September 15, 2012

Walking Manifestival brings thousands to downtown Anderson

ANDERSON, Ind. — Savannah Hagan had seen many of the Walking Man statues throughout town and stopped to visit many, but Saturday she was creating her very own — Hippie Man.

The 12-year-old Anderson girl had come to the Walking Manifestival — the eight-hour event featuring 23 bands, artists, businesses and nonprofits — with parents Brent and Jeni Hagan. She was participating in one of several children’s activities by designing her own Walking Man. Hers was tie-dyed featuring a peace sign in the center.

“I think the whole thing is pretty cool,” Savannah said, concentrating hard on her masterpiece, the melodic notes of a band drifting by. “It was a lot of fun because I got to spend a lot of time with my mom and dad to see them all.”

Brent and Jeni Hagan said the project was a great way to get local residents not only engaged in their community by visiting businesses they’d never been before, but also it was a great way to get people interested in art.

“It gets people out of their comfort zone, out to places maybe they’ve never been before or wouldn’t have gone to otherwise,” Jeni Hagan said.

Walking Man artists Cindy Fox and Wendy Otto — with Double Action Twin Airbrushing — echoed that sentiment saying it was a great way for people to go to businesses they may not have even heard of before. The two together created “A Great Loss to Indiana,” “Forever Young,” “The Fabricator” and “Casino Man.”

“It was great fun,” Fox said. “I’d do it again next year.”

Both were happy with the outcome at Saturday’s festival — which had hundreds of people filling Meridian Street between Ninth and 13th streets — between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

“This project was a great way for people to see the diversity of local artists,” Otto said. “There is a lot of talent in this community. And I think it also will help bring out people’s creativity.”

Artist and project creator Levi Rinker said he was very happy with the outcome of the Walking Man Project and said the festival had been a success.

“Look at all these people in downtown Anderson,” he said, grinning. “There are so many smiles, so much positive energy. It gives me a great energy too.”

But Rinker said it will be tough to say goodbye to many of the statues. While some were purchased by their sponsors, many of the statues were up for bids. Three statues were sold during the silent auction. He said they will continue to pursue finding buyers for the remaining statues.

“This project got people with creative ideas who had a love, passion and vision together and moving in one direction,” he said. “So many people got involved. I’m hoping people are inspired by Walking Man and leave with a feeling of home for the city.”

Tim Allred of Tim Allred’s Collision Center sponsored two statues — “Walking with My Best Friend” parts 1 and 2 — as well as creating a dog, Lily, to go with the Walking Man couple. He and family designed and painted the statues as well.

When Allred first heard of the project he knew it was one he wanted to get involved in as he not only has a love for art but also for promoting Anderson.

“I care about Anderson and wanted to be involved in something that is trying to help bring Anderson back,” he said. “I think the project is great for local businesses and Anderson. Thank you so much to Levi Rinker for creating this and all the businesses and the city of Anderson for supporting it.”

Allred said they saw an increase in business and expected to continue to reap benefits. He said he hoped more businesses would get involved in future endeavors.

“It’s so great to see the town come together to get involved and support something,” Allred said.

The event featured bands on three different stages along Meridian Street. During one of the morning performances, Tom Evans, lead singer for a Christian rock band called Changed, reportedly had a heart attack and was taken to a local hospital by ambulance.

Rinker praised quick work by emergency responders who were nearby when Evans collapsed. He said family told him that Evans was sitting up and talking in his hospital bed later Saturday.

Find Abbey Doyle on Facebook and @heraldbulletin on Twitter, or call 640-4805.

  • If you are interested in purchasing one of the remaining Walking Man statues, call Levi Rinker at 765-610-6177.

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Walking Man Project
  • 0916 news walking man 061.jpg Walking Manifestival brings thousands to downtown Anderson

    An estimated 5,000 people came downtown during Saturday's eight-hour Walking Manifestival. Twenty-three bands performed on three stages, with artists, businesses and nonprofits lining Meridian Street under sunny skies and mild temperatures.

    September 15, 2012 2 Photos

  • 0913 news Walking Men downtown 02a.jpg Festival celebrates Walking Man Project

    The steel Walking Man Project statues are now “walking” up and down Meridian Street in downtown Anderson in preparation for Saturday’s Walking Manifestival, an event to bid farewell to many of the statues and celebrate everything the project has done, artist and project executive director Levi Rinker said.

    September 13, 2012 1 Photo

  • 0531 news walking man 004.jpg Five hours with The Walking Man

    The Herald Bulletin has written several stories about the Walking Man Project but decided we should embark on the tour ourselves to give readers idea of what to expect on their trip.

    June 23, 2012 1 Photo

  • ‘Hunger Games’ author sponsors two Walking Man statues

    You‘ve probably never heard of Levi Rinker‘s cousin but perhaps you have heard of his cousin‘s wife -— Suzanne Collins, author of the international bestselling trilogy “The Hunger Games.”

    June 23, 2012

  • 0624 comm walking man 05.jpg Brown first to complete Walking Man route

    James Brown loves maps and meeting new people. So when the Hopewell Center resident saw The Walking Man Project, he was interested right away.

    June 23, 2012 1 Photo

  • 0531 news walking man 004.jpg Walking Man statues step out

    Walking Man statues began appearing this week at various locations around Anderson.

    May 30, 2012 1 Photo

  • 0514 news walking man 010.jpg Walking Man statues have personalities

    For weeks, artists have been creating designs, brushing paint and adding accessories to 10-foot-tall steel statues and now that most of them have been completed, their individual personalities are shining through.

    May 13, 2012 3 Photos 1 Video

  • 0315 news walking man 002.jpg Walking Man statues unveiled

    As part of the ongoing Walking Man project, a group of 10-foot-tall steel statues was placed on the grounds of the former General Motors Guide Lamp plant for people to photograph.

    March 14, 2012 1 Photo

  • 0315 news walking man 040.jpg Walking Man statues 'strut' around empty field

    The Walking Man project, created by artists Levi Rinker and Laree Blazer, put 16 statues — 10 feet tall and weighing 250 pounds each — on display Wednesday in an empty field that used to be General Motors’ Guide Corp. Plant 9.

    March 14, 2012 1 Photo 1 Video

  • Walking Man statues visit former GM plant

    A former General Motors plant that once was bustling will see giant men frozen in place around its grounds today.

    March 14, 2012 1 Video

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