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People, creatures and Place
J&C October 1

Lions and Tigers and Bears in our Backyard

Lafayette Leader, August 20, 2015
by Gregory Myers

The Lions, and Tigers and Bears Oh My! public art exhibit has created a connection between local artists and the business community, just like previous public exhibitions produced by the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette. 

The Bob Rohrman Auto Group diamond sponsorship was for $20,000, with the Sapphire sponsorship of $10,000 provided by the Michael Richard Raisor Foundation. That sponsorship funded Marco the Tiger.  “We had already decided to do bears, but then of course their symbol is a lion, Rohrman, ‘Roar-man’ auto group,” said Kendall Smith II, executive director of the private art museum.  “We brainstormed the idea of doing lions and tigers and bears, oh my from the Wizard of Oz and that's how that got started.”

The art exhibit continues until mid-September, when bears will be distributed to sponsors or taken to the Oct. 1 public auction for unsponsored bears, at the Rohrman Toyota showroom.  The exhibit is comprised of 37 bears, two lions and one tiger. The art pieces are dispersed throughout both Lafayette and West Lafayette. Read the full story in the print edition or by subscribing online to the e-edition.

Shafer: Experts best way to learn art technique

This is not a review of a specific art exhibit but a review of some local programs that art lovers can take advantage of in order to learn how to make art.

Tippecanoe County has numerous venues that exhibit the beautiful arts and crafts, and fine arts that are produced locally. Dedicated artists who spend many hours each week in pursuit of artistic perfection create these works of art. We also have others who love looking at and creating art but do it on a more limited basis. Perhaps they can be referred to as art hobbyists, or individuals who are advancing toward a time in their lives in which they will have more time to dedicate to their craft.

For individuals who do not have the space or studio materials to work at home, Lafayette and West Lafayette provide two excellent locations where folks can develop their passion and abilities in their chosen artistic medium.  Read More...

Shafer: Americus club’s quilts aren’t just for warmth

What can 25 cents buy you in today’s economy? The answer is a yearlong membership in the Americus Quilting Club!

Established in March 1915, the original 13 members formed this group to produce quilts to be sold in order to help finance the Americus Union Church. They were quilters for hire and eventually held quilt raffles. The club is the second oldest active quilt club in the United States and the oldest active group in Indiana.  Read More...

Shafer: ‘Language of the Road’ realism in abstract

Whenever an exhibit of significance appears in one of our many art venues in Tippecanoe County, created by one of our own residents, art lovers are in for a special treat.

Charles A. Gick’s current show, “Language of the Road: Meditations on Nature, Repair, and Reverie” currently on view in the East Gallery at the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette, is one such exhibit. Gick’s work is interdisciplinary, meaning he uses any medium or material that aids in the production of his art. His artwork has been shown widely across the United States as well as internationally in Bulgaria, Denmark, Italy, Russia, Serbia and South America.


8 things to do: A zoo, Midwest rock and ballet 

Domenica Bongiovanni,,
June 4, 2015

A crop of recycled animals along with Midwest rock and ballet are a few of the week's art highlights. 

Although they're new in town, you might see something familiar in the life-sized zoo animals that have set up shop outside the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette.

Part of a magenta shoe forms the lower half of the ostrich's head. The gorilla leans on arms made from the base of a basketball hoop. The baboon is a Toro lawn mower cut in half.

"People like to kind of look at things and figure out where it came from, which is kind of fun, too," Teachout said. "It's almost a game."

"It's kind of like a zoo without all the smells," said Melanie Arvin, a fourth-year veterinary student at Purdue University.

She was part of a group jokingly asked to check the vitals of the animals at a preview Wednesday. Second-year veterinary student Andrew DeBoer said the exhibit made junk look cool.




On Display: New Exhibits Kick off Spring

Domenica Bongiovanni,,
May 28, 2015

If you haven't yet made it to all the new exhibits, let this roundup — which hits a few of many highlights around town — be your guide. If these spring shows are any indication of what's to come, the community will have a summer chock full of thoughtful, inspiring visual art.  Read More

Bears' vandalism shows best, worst of community

Domenica Bongiovanni, May 22, 2015

Covering vandalized bears wasn't something I expected when I came here as the arts reporter, but I've learned how well a community can take it in stride and rise above.  Read More

Delve into the Art Museum's Permanent Collection

Journal & Courier, May 14, 2015

By Tom Shafer,
“Strong foundations are essential for the future.”  Thus begins the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette’s statement about “Foundations and Forward: Works from the Permanent Collection,” currently showing in Weil Gallery B.

For more than 100 years, the museum has been collecting art for its permanent collection and art lovers will be delighted with this small sampling from years past. 

Vandals damage bear and healing process

Journal & Courier, May 14, 2015

By Deomenica Bongiovanni,

The artist patched up the vandalized statue, adding a bandage to hold the fresh adhesive, get-well-soon card and thank-you note — but those were later removed.

Artist Nicole Paraskevas' responded to vandalism with a healthy dose of humor, an "aww" moment and a fresh layer of engagement with public art.  And while her efforts delighted community members, they were wiped away shortly after.


You've Met the Bears, Now hear their Stories

Journal & Courier, May 13, 2015

By Deomenica Bongiovanni,

Residents have greeted the behemoth creatures, along with two lions and a tiger, for the past week and a half.

Behind each of the 37 bears, two lions and tiger lies a story about the artists and their creative process — one that in many cases was done over the course of a few months in unheated garages, living rooms or wherever else the bears would fit through the door.  Here are a few of their stories.

Artists plan for repairs after bear is damaged

Journal & Courier, May 12, 2015

By Deomenica Bongiovanni,

Artists plan to repair the Bear Mechanics, which was damaged earlier this week.  The sculpture is stationed by the Sonya J. Margerum Fountin in Tapawingo Park.The repair process soon will begin for The Bear Mechanics, the metallic-themed critter by the Sonya J. Margerum Fountain in West Lafayette's Tapawingo Park.  Read More...

Bangert: Doofuses, drunks and bears, oh my

Journal & Courier, May 12, 2015

By Dave Bangert,
Another community art project, another round of vandalism to kick it off.  Here's one takeaway from the smattering of vandalism serving as a preview to this summer's "Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!" public art display.

Posting signs telling the viewing public, "Warning: Security Cameras In Use," isn't necessarily enough to stop someone from tearing off bits and pieces from a fiberglass bear decorated for the community art project.


Gick's Art find new language in old paths

Journal & Courier, May 7, 2015

In  his new exhibit, "Language of the Road: Meditations on Nature, Repair and Reverie," artist and Purdue Professor Charles Gickfinds stories and absration often overlooked in familiar landscapes.

Read More





Stock up your week with an exhibition of new work by young artists, different stripes of live music and musical comedy at a dinner theater.

exerpt from the article by Domenica Bongiovanni,

Mixed-media construction by Robert Peppers( Photo: Photo provided/Tom Shafer)

Mixed-media construction by Robert Peppers( Photo: Photo provided/Tom Shafer)

Review:  Paintings alive with the sound of jazz

Tom Shafer Journal and Courier, February 19, 2015

Read the Article

Review: ‘Animal Crackers’ blends fantasy, reality

Tom ShaferJournal and Courier January 29, 2015  Read the Article


The “Bare Bears” begin their journey to Lafayette on one of the coldest days of the year.

Photo: John Terhune/Journal & Courier

Photo: John Terhune/Journal & Courier

Safety a priority for outdoor art project

Journal and Courier November 24, 2014

Come next summer, 40 lion, tiger and bear fiberglass sculptures will line the streets of downtown Lafayette and West Lafayette, officials announced Monday.  Read the rest of this article.

Photo: Alex Buntin

Photo: Alex Buntin

The Art Museum receives a magnificent gift

Glenda McClatchey November 14, 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014 in conjunction with the opening of the exhibition, Rudy Pozzatti, An Indiana Treasure, Rudy Pozzatti gave a talk to 40 listeners in the Mickey Shook Room of the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette. At the end of the talk he overwhelmed the audience with a gift of The Labors of Hercules, a suite of 13 lithographs. The portrait of Hercules is pictured.  Read the rest of this article.

ArtSmart: Indiana art and history

IBC Newsletter, November 2015

On October 14, 2014, Indiana First Lady Karen Pence, Perry Hammock, Executive Director, Indiana Bicentennial Commission and several officials representing the ArtSmart project spoke at the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette. Read the rest of the article.

Photo: Art Museum Archive

Photo: Art Museum Archive

Review: Don’t call it just ‘crafts’ — this is fine art

Journal and Courier October 22, 2014

In 2011, when I reviewed the first National Crafts Invitational at the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette, I made the comment that I hadn’t seen any sign of crafts in that exhibit.

That puzzled some people because, after all, it was a crafts show. The level of expertise with every material used by the artists in that show, as well as the current one, was and continues to be exceptional.  Read the rest of the article.

Photo: Michael Heinz/Journal & Courier

Photo: Michael Heinz/Journal & Courier

Trio of new Art Museum exhibits challenge reality

Journal and Courier May 8, 2014

Hurricane Katrina. The Haiti earthquake. The Colorado Springs fire. The subjects in Brazil-born artist and Purdue University professor Petronio Bendito's new exhibition, "Natural Disaster Color," call to mind images of great trauma and catastrophe.  Read the rest of this article.