GREENSBURG – The Arts and Cultural Council of Decatur County, in cooperation with the Decatur County Visitors Commission (Tourism) and Main Street Greensburg organization, is currently looking for artists to create works of art on the sides of buildings in the downtown Greensburg area.
Colloquially known now as “the Arts District” of Greensburg, the commerce area of Greensburg between the Tree County Players Playhouse at 634 W. Main Street to Rebekah Park, the newer playground in the city directly east of Greensburg Community High School on E. Central Avenue.
If you wander around the ‘burg, you’ll notice the yellow subcompact car (a bright yellow “Subaru-looking” vehicle with giant flowers and a red cardinal flying around it) on the rear of the Decatur County Community Foundation / United Fund building, or the angel wings on the Watson Chiropractic Building, or the mural of birds in a marsh setting on the old Oddfellows maintenance garage at Rebekah.
Those murals are something identified in the “Stellar Communities” project, and the Arts Council, Tourism, and the MainStreet organization, in league with the DCCF and many other various interests elected to continue.
“We need to beautify the downtown area and one way to do that is by bringing in artists to offer their artistic visions with us on permanent installations as a benefit to us all,” Tourism Director Philip Deiwert said.
“And we have what you’d think was the hard part done,” Deiwert said. “We’ve raised some money, so now we need locations and artists.”
MainStreet Greensburg organization has contributed $3,000, the Arts Council has pledged $2,000, Toruism has given $10,000 and the DCCF has given another $10,000 toward the project. So, that’s a serious chunk of change in the bank for the project.
So...calling all artists!
In 2019, Cincinnati-based artist Joshua Stout, whose work has gained him some local notoriety, submitted designs for the Doug Rynard-owned building beside the old YMCA -formerly the location of the Coffee Cup Restaurant and now Denim and Honey.
“Mr. Rynard and Emily Robbins, owner of Denim and Honey were very excited about a selection for that building, but it wasn’t to be,” Deiwert said.
It would seem that arranging someone to paint the side of a building in the downtown area would be a simple project. But, as it’s turning out – not so much.
“We’re not picky,” Deiwert said. “But if they’re painting something that will be a part of Greensburg for a long time, there needs to be some thought put into it.”
“We wanted it to have a sealant coat over it so it would last,” mural committee member Wendy Blake said. Blake has been involved with the project since her term as the director of the MainStreet organization.
“And we aren’t being unreasonable,” she said. “We don’t want the artist to get half-way done and run out of money. We’re looking to see if they’ve put serious thought into it. If they’re submitting a proposal, then we expect it to be a professional interest who’s going to give Greensburg something for their money.”
Artists interested in submitting an idea for a mural should submit a proposal, much like writing a grant. Marketing specialist for Tourism Erica Gunn explained a bit about the proposal project.
“We need them to put together a budget for their proposal – if they’ll need to use a lift, what kinds of paints they’ll be using. We want this to be something that lasts and we have to insure that they are going about it in an appropriate manner.”
Artists interested in adding their vision to the Greensburg landscape should contact the Decatur County Visitors Commission (Tourism) by visiting www.visitgreensburg.com of by calling the Tourism office at 812-222-8733.
In the same vein, owners of buildings in the Greensburg Art District that have a building they’d like to be considered for the project should contact Tourism as well.