Arts and Culture

Forest Idyll

Created by Albin Polasek in 1930, Forest Idyll commonly referred to by students as the “naked Lady” the bronze statue facing the south entrance of Bracken Library on the campus of Ball State University. The Statue is a common meeting place for students and even groups on Ball State’s Campus.

Fountain of Joy (Rabbit Fountain)

The Fountain of Joy (or Rabbit Fountain) was originally located on the south side of the Frank C. Ball home, Minnetrista. It was moved to the home of Alexander and Rosemary Bracken after the 1967 fire. The fountain was given to Minnetrista in April 1998. It is currently displayed in the garden at Oakhurst. The fountain was created in 1916 by Helen Farnsworth Mears. The statue is marked: “Helen Farnsworth Mears fecit 1916.” (“Fecit” is Latin for made.)

Frog Baby

The bronze sculpture of the chubby-cheeked little girl dangling two frogs by their feet and smiling up at the sky has become legendary at Ball State over the years as a good luck charm and a popular meeting place.

She was cast by the late American sculptor Edith Frog Baby Muncie IndianaBarretto Stevens Parson (American 1878-1956) between 1917-37. Muncie industrialist Frank C. Ball donated the sculpture, and she resided in the Ball State University Museum of Art for many years.

In the past, campus legend had it that if you rub her nose, you would have good luck on your next exam. However, with so many students caressing her nose, she became damaged and was packed away.

In 1993, Frog Baby was restored and placed in the middle of a fountain built on the north side of Bracken Library. The fountain is dedicated to the late Alexander M. Bracken, son-in-law of Frank Ball and a key player in Ball State’s rapid growth after World War II.

No one rubs her nose anymore, but students sometimes bundle her up with scarves and hats in the winter.

Fruit Jar Club

Ball Jar Muncie IndianaThe Midwest Antique Fruit Jar & Bottle Club is an organization of people interested in collecting and learning about fruit jars and bottles. The club holds jar swaps/sales in Muncie on a semi-annual basis. 

Garfield Statues of Muncie

Delaware County is fortunate to be the home of Jim Davis, creator of that famous lasagna eating cat Garfield. Garfield turned 25 in 2003 and that summer Muncie threw him a birthday

celebration. Twenty-five not-for-profit organizations joined together to commemorate his birthday. Jim Davis and Paws’ artists worked with sculptor Brian Kishel to create the Garfield Sculpt: A 48-inch masterpiece molded in rigid polymer and situated on a 31-inch base.

Then, each not-for-profit found a sponsor to purchase the sculpture, and commissioned a local artist to decorate it in a unique and ingenious way reflecting the fat cat’s personality and the theme chosen by the not-for-profit. The finished statues were then signed by the local artist, as well as by Garfield creator, Jim Davis.

Several of these still remain in Muncie. They are located in private and public spaces. As for those in public space visitors and locals alike see the wonderful photo opportunities they create.

Map of Garfield statues.

 

Gazebo

William H. & Agnes Metzger Ball built one of the first homes in what became known as Westwood, a housing development in west Muncie. In 1939, the Balls attended the World’s Fair in New York. There they saw a wrought iron gazebo which was designed by an artist working for the Nashville Foundry in Nashville, Tennessee. The gazebo won first place in the category “Best Cast Iron Work of Art” at the fair. The Balls purchased the gazebo. The gazebo was given to Minnetrista and is now the focal point of the rose garden.

George McCulloch Memorial

A bronze sculpture by Leonard Crunelle (1872-1944) cast in 1915 and dedicated October 31, 1917. Base is of polished pink granite.

Gordy Fine Art & Framing Co.

Located in the historic Boyce Block. Fine art gallery and framing studio specializing in Indiana Artisan hand-carved, gilded frames. Monthly exhibits of regional artists featuring landscape oil paintings, watercolors, prints and pottery with First Thursday openings.

Greenway Graffiti

Organized graffiti artists use bridges and walls along the Greenway as their canvas.

 

Photo courtesy of The Star Press