The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Walking Man Project

March 14, 2012

Walking Man statues 'strut' around empty field

Sculptures placed at former GM plant for short public art exhibit

ANDERSON, Ind. — Shellie Beeson was driving along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to downtown Anderson when she slowed down as something completely out of place caught her eye.

In a field on the west side of the road were more than a dozen 10-foot-tall steel statues painted in white, looking as if they were frozen in place while walking in various directions.

On her way back from downtown, she was compelled to pull over and get a better look.

“What is this project?” she asked the only real human she could find. Dan Rinker, whose son Levi Rinker led the project, had been keeping an eye on the statues and happily explained the project to her.

The Walking Man project was created by artists Levi Rinker and Laree Blazer. Thirty 250-pound statues were built, and will each be painted and decorated differently, based on designs chosen by sponsors and artists.

This summer, they will be placed all over the city, outside businesses, schools and other facilities from June through September. The project will culminate with a street festival where all the statues will be displayed and auctioned.

But before all that, Rinker wanted to create a public art display with the statues while they were all still blank canvasses.

For a few hours on Wednesday he arranged 16 of them in an empty field that used to be General Motors’ Guide Corp. Plant 9, along Dr. MLK Boulevard across from the Raceway Industrial Park. The statues were grouped together, but facing different directions — toward downtown, a neighborhood, trees or the interstate.

The location caused the exhibit to garner quite a bit of attention. Most drivers on the busy corridor slowed down and stared out their windows as they passed the statues. Rinker took his own photos while others could be seen using their cellphones to capture images.

Placing the statues on one of Anderson’s many vacant former industrial properties is a way to “purify and bless the land,” Rinker said.

Rinker said that those properties may have undergone environmental cleanups, but many still need social cleanups. He hopes the statues encourage the community and help it move ahead.

The statues are “moving forward into the city as an iconic symbol of mankind’s progressive ideal,” he said. “My aim through the project is to psychologically motivate Anderson by engaging visitors and residents to celebrate the arts and take charge of their future economy.”

After the public display, the statues were returned that afternoon to a warehouse at the Raceway Industrial Park, where artists will begin painting and decorating them. Each will have a different design — some representing ideas, organizations, company services and others will be abstract.

“I was actually really amazed,” Beeson said about the sight of the statues. “I was trying to figure out why they were there.”

Beeson said she is impressed with the creativity of the project and feels that more people need to be exposed to public art and visual outlooks of life.

“It’s remarkable that somebody took the initiative to better the city and create a new way to build a better economy,” she said.

Contact Melanie Hayes: 648-4250,

Text Only
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

HB Featured Video
Reader Walking Man Photos

Share your Walking Man photos with us and submit them for the official Walking Man Photo Contest!

More Resources from The Herald Bulletin

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate