Outdoor Art

Catalyst

Catalyst was commissioned for Minnetrista by Virginia B. Ball to honor her husband, Edmund F. Ball. The design represents partnership, giving and stewardship which were important ideals of Mr. Ball. It was also intended to represent a century of giving by the Ball family, their stewardship of the land, and Minnetrista as a catalyst in the community. The sculpture was dedicated in June 2004. The artist is Beverly Stucker Precious of Indianapolis.

The completed sculpture is comprised of 32,000 pounds of limestone, 17,000 pounds of stainless steel and 2,000 pounds of dichroic and plate glass. Forty-four hundred hours went into the fabrication of steel for Catalyst, which is 26 feet in diameter.

Photo courtesy of Judy Austin.

Beneficence

In its almost sixty years on campus, this bronze statue has become the symbol of Ball State University. It was the last commissioned work of renowned sculptor of his time Daniel Chester French (American 1850-1931), best known as the sculptor of the Abraham Lincoln statue in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The settings and columns for Beneficence were designed by prominent East Coast architect Richard Henry Dana.

The statue was commissioned by the Muncie Chamber of Commerce as a public monument to the generosity of the Ball brothers, each of whom is represented by one of the five Corinthian columns. The bronze statue was completed in 1930 and installed in 1937.

Appeal to the Great Spirit

The statue, owned by the City of Muncie, is a memorial to Edmund B. Ball. After his death in 1925, his family searched for a suitable memorial to him. They settled on a replica of the “Appeal to the Great Spirit” cast in bronze, and erected on a site just east of the Ball family homes on the north side of the White River in Muncie. The original sculpture was created by Cyrus Dallin in 1909 and is a Plains Indian. The statue and surrounding park were dedicated in 1929.

The statue does not depict Chief Munsee. There is no indication that there ever was a chief named Munsee. In addition, the statue depicts a Plains Indian. The Indians who lived in or near Muncie were Woodland Indians.

Read the blog hosted by Minnetrista, written by Karen Vincent (Director of Collections) “There Wasn’t a Chief Munsee. Really, There Wasn’t”.

Alice Nichols

Created by artist Tuck Langland commissioned by John Surovek to honor Alice Nichols, a former chair of the university’s art department. “She was as much a friend to me as she was a mentor. I can’t imagine how many other people she helped in the way she helped me.” Ball State University alumnus John Surovek.