News From Terre Haute, Indiana


August 1, 2013

Mural connects with Year of the River initiative; dedication set

TERRE HAUTE — The most recent public work of art, sponsored by the ISU Gilbert Wilson Memorial Mural Project, will be dedicated at 10 a.m. Saturday. Located on the west wall of the Cox, Zwerner, Gambill and Sullivan Law Firm at 511 Wabash Ave., the mural was funded by Indiana State University’s “Energize Downtown” initiative, part of the President’s Partnering for Success Strategic Plan. Conceived and painted by artists Michael Neary and Amy MacLennan with help from ISU art students, the theme of the mural connects with the 2013 Year of the River initiative.

Neary earned a bachelor’s in fine arts from the Kansas City Art Institute and a master’s in fine arts in painting and drawing from Indiana University. His artwork consists primarily of still life and landscape painted from direct observation. His works have been exhibited at group exhibitions in museums and galleries in the East and Midwest.

MacLennan grew up in the Wabash Valley and earned her master’s in fine arts in painting in 2007 at ISU. Since then, as the recipient of a number of residency fellowships, she has travelled and created paintings and drawings based on a variety of American topographies, from the industrial riverfront in Peoria, Ill., to the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming and Montana. As a member of the Midwest Paint Group, she exhibits throughout the country. MacLennan is an assistant professor of art at McKendree University in Lebanon, Ill.

MacLennan and Neary have collaborated on large projects in the past and were delighted with the opportunity to return to Terre Haute to create this mural. Their work can be viewed online at amy and

The mural joins several other works from the Gilbert Wilson Memorial Mural Project. These include last year’s mural on the third floor of the Terre Haute Children’s Museum by David Erickson (ISU professor emeritus); Tom Torluemke’s mural at the Booker T. Washington Center; and the mural by Jeff Zimmerman on the south wall of the old Terre Haute Boys and Girls Club building on South Third Street. Students from the Department of Art and Design at ISU played a strategic role in each project. Working side-by-side, the artists gained significant appreciation for how public works of art can engage and benefit the community.

The Gilbert Wilson Memorial Mural Project is an ongoing initiative of ISU’s Department of Art and Design. Led by faculty members Brad Venable and Nancy Nichols-Pethick, its goal is to create public works of art in the Terre Haute community through engaged and collaborative activities with students, community members and artists. The initiative was named after the prominent Works Progress Administration artist Gilbert Wilson, whose murals and other works of art are a historic tradition in the Terre Haute community. His murals can be found in the Woodrow Wilson Middle School, the Community Theatre of Terre Haute and in the Bayh College of Education on the ISU campus. Questions regarding the mural program can be sent to Venable at

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