(UNDATED) - Lawrence County and surrounding communities are launching a month-long celebration of Indiana limestone, featuring exhibits and programs at several communities.
In Bedford, the month will lead up to the Limetone Heritage Festival in late June and early July. Many other activities are planned, ranging from art shows to formal presentations.
"Limestone Traditions: Stoneworking in South-Central Indiana," a traveling exhibit from Traditional Arts Indiana, will be on display in Lawrence, Owen and Monroe counties in celebration of Limestone Month.
The exhibit takes a cultural approach to the region's building stone industry, featuring craftspeople, local quarries and mills, and the experiences and stories of career stone workers.
The exhibit will open on June 1 at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, then travel to weekend events at McCormick's Creek State Park in Spencer (June 15), Spring Mill State Park in Mitchell (June 22-23), and to the downtown square in Bedford (June 29).
In addition to the exhibit, TAI has invited several stone craftspeople to demonstrate and discuss their work at the weekend events.
In October 2012, working with Indiana Parks and Reservoirs, TAI launched a research project exploring present-day Indiana limestone work in towns along the Salem Oolitic Limestone Belt. TAI researcher Joseph O'Connell interviewed people involved in the industry about everything from turning a stone baluster to running a fifth-generation family business. The exhibit features excerpts from these conversations with accompanying documentary photography. It presents a range of individuals involved in limestone work, including carvers, toolmakers, and other tradespeople.
"Very few people have the opportunity to have a job that's also their passion -- that they can make a living off of, and have the hands-on feeling of it, and can look back at the final product of it and see the steps that went into it, and know what you did -- the small part that you played in completing the total job for the building," Jim Matthews, a sawyer at Bybee Stone Co., shared with O'Connell during one interview.
In partnership with Indiana University and the Indiana Arts Commission, Traditional Arts Indiana researches, documents and presents cultural traditions throughout the state. The exhibit is presented in partnership with Indiana Parks and Reservoirs and funded in part by the Indiana Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.
LIST OF EVENTS
Now through July 5: "Set in Stone" exhibit celebrating Lawrence County's limestone heritage; Wiley Art Center, 1402 J St.; open 1-6 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays; 277-8280 orwww.lawrencecountyart.org.
June 14: "Southern Indiana Gravestones and their Makers," presentation by Jon Kay, folklorist and director of Traditional Arts Indiana; Mathers Museum of World Cultures (Bloomington); noon-1 p.m.; free.
June 15: Arts in the Park, McCormick's Creek State Park (Spencer); 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; park admission: $5 for in-state vehicle.
Mid-June: Collection of photographs of Easton's Studios work on the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., will open in the Community Gallery of the Lawrence County Museum of History.
June 22-23: Limestone weekend, Spring Mill State Park (Mitchell); 11a.m. to 4 p.m. June 22, noon to 4 p.m. June 23; park admission: $5 for in-state vehicles.
June 28-29: Limestone carver's exhibit in the meeting room of the Lawrence County Museum of History; opening reception from 5-8 p.m. June 28; visitors will be able to vote for their favorite carving and carver.
June 29: Barbecue at the Quarry and Stone Carving Exhibit; Bedford downtown square; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; free.
TBA: Gallery exhibit of limestone artifacts at the Lawrence County Museum of History.
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