Arts and Culture

Awakening Potential

This 8 1/2 foot tall bronze sculpture was created in 2006 by Delaware County artist Kenneth G. Ryden. the sculpture features a young girl and boy standing on a stump with tree sprouts emerging from their hands. The sprouting tree symbolizes the awakening potential that lies within a young person. Kenneth G. Ryden is a professional sculptor who has created many public monuments for institutions and municipalities as well as custom bronzes for private collections. He maintains a studio at his Yorktown residence.


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.

Bronze Baby

This sculpture, “Bronze Baby,” was originally on the site of the Frank C. Ball home. Margaret Ball Petty, daughter of Frank C. Ball, later owned the statue. It was created by Brenda Putnam in 1916. The sculpture is currently displayed, during warm weather, in the pool of the Children’s Garden at Minnetrista.


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.

Colonnade Columns

The Colonnade Columns are the focal point of the Colonnade Garden at Oakhurst. The Colonnade Garden was constructed in 1993 and 1994. These columns originally graced the porte-cochere (to the right of the front portico) and the small porch to the left of the front portico of the Frank C. Ball home, Minnetrista. The house was destroyed by fire in 1967.

Colonnade Gates

The wrought iron Colonnade Gates were commissioned by William and Agnes Ball for their Westwood home. The Colonnade Gates are located near the end of the Colonnade Garden at Oakhurst. The Colonnade Garden was constructed in 1993 and 1994. The gates were designed and fabricated by Polish-born iron master Samuel Yellin.