News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 7, 2013

Next Gilbert Wilson Memorial Mural Project to focus on Year of the River

News Release

TERRE HAUTE — The ISU Gilbert Wilson Memorial Mural Project announces another project for the Terre Haute Community. This year's mural site will be located on the west wall of the Cox, Zwerner, Gambill and Sullivan Law Firm at 511 Wabash Ave. in downtown Terre Haute. The mural, funded by ISU's “Energize Downtown” initiative, which is part of the Partnering for Success Strategic Plan, will be created by artists Michael Neary and Amy MacLennan, with help from ISU art students. The theme of the mural will focus on the 2013 Year of the River initiative.

Neary and MacLennan currently work in St. Louis, Mo. Neary earned a bachelor of fine arts from the Kansas City Art Institute and an master of fine arts degree in painting and drawing from Indiana University. His artwork consists primarily of still life and landscape painted from direct observation. These works have been exhibited at group exhibitions in museums and galleries in the Eastern and Midwestern United States, and most recently in Realism and its Discontents, an exhibit co-sponsored by Wright State University and Manchester University.

Neary also worked as a billboard painter, an occupation that brought him to Terre Haute in the early 1990's.  He enjoyed the spirit and support of the arts community for over fifteen years. He was honored with a  “Bravo! The Arts!” award in 2007, and benefitted from membership in the ISU Life Drawing Co-op, where he first met MacLennan. From his work in the billboard trade he developed an interest in large-scale pictorial possibilities.

Amy MacLennan grew up in the Terre Haute region and earned her master of fine arts degree in painting from Indiana State University in 2007. 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 Peoria's industrial riverfront to the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming and Montana. As a member of the Midwest Paint Group she exhibits throughout the country.  She was featured in the recent exhibit, Realism and its Discontents. 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 are delighted with the opportunity to return to Terre Haute to take part in the Year of the River activities by creating a mural based on that theme. Their work can be viewed online at  and

The mural, scheduled for painting in early May, will join several other works from the Gilbert Wilson Memorial Mural Project. These include the most recent work on the third floor of the Terre Haute Children's Museum by David Erickson (ISU Emeriti), Tom Torluemke's mural at the Booker T. Washington Community Center, and the mural on south wall of the old Terre Haute Boys and Girls Club building on South Third Street by Jeff Zimmerman.

The Gilbert Wilson Memorial Mural Project is an ongoing initiative of ISU's Department of Art. 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 WPA artist Gilbert Wilson, whose murals and other works of art are a historic tradition in Terre Haute. His murals can be found in Woodrow Wilson Middle School, 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 Brad Venable at