News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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June 16, 2013

Blues mosaic fundraiser to benefit Boys & Girls Club

TERRE HAUTE — A photographic mosaic, featuring images of the Blues at the Crossroads Festival from 2004 to 2012, was unveiled Saturday as part of a fundraiser to benefit the Terre Haute Boys and Girls Club.

The framed mosaic is the creation of Bruce Drummond, a former Terre Haute resident who has attended the blues festival every year since 2002 and has photographed it each year since 2004. The annual blues festival started in 2001. This year the festival will be held Sept. 13 and 14 at the intersection of 7th Street and Wabash Avenue in Terre Haute.

The goal is to raise at least $10,000 for the Terre Haute Boys and Girls Club. The mosaic, to be raffled off from 2,000 tickets at $5 each or five for $20, is about 41⁄2 feet tall and 6-feet long. It contains 2,880 images, with each image being about one-inch square. All of the smaller images form the mosaic of W.T. Feaster, a guitarist who is a regular performer at the blues festival.

In addition, another $2,400 could be raised from the sale of 24 smaller framed versions, that contain half-inch size images. Those will sell for $200 each, with half of the money going to the Boys and Girls Club. The other half goes to offset production costs.

When viewed from a distance, the mosaic, printed on acid-free paper framed in walnut painted black, shows Feaster’s hands playing his Grosh guitar. The image shows part of the guitar’s neck and Feaster’s light-blue shirt. When viewed up close, individual photos show people and performers at the festival. Connie Wrin, founder of the festival, is in many of images, Drummond said.

“It is 72 pictures wide and 40 pictures tall,” Drummond said. “I had a library of over 6,000 images and edited the images to be about one-inch square.”

Drummond then used a computer program that mapped out the contrast of each individual image for the overall mosaic, which was then created on an Adobe Photoshop document.

“I was able to provide a priority, so I got the best match on the hands, the second best match on the neck and body of the guitar, the third best on the shirt, and the worst on the background, which is all black, which didn’t matter at that point,” Drummond said.

“So, the highest [contrast] fidelity is on the hands and the guitar,” Drummond said.

The smaller framed version is 2-feet tall and 40 inches long. Drummond printed 30 of the smaller versions. He plans to give one to each board member of the festival, which will leave 24 remaining to be sold.

Drummond moved to Terre Haute in 2002 and lived in the city through 2006, working at Indiana State University as an information technology instructional online designer. He now lives in Riverside Iowa, working for the University of Iowa, creating and managing online compliance courses. He holds a master’s degree from that university.

Dummond’s first job out of high school was studio photography for a company that took high school portraits and weddings. He then moved into video, working in broadcast news for 15 years. He later moved into instructing video and production techniques at the University of Iowa, before moving into online instructional design, obtaining his masters degree.

“I come back to the blues festival every year and take pictures,” Drummond said. “I only lived in Terre Haute for four years, but I have never felt more at home in a town so quickly.”

 Funds from the mosaics will go to the Travis Smith Memorial Fund at the Terre Haute Boys & Girls Club. The fund was established to provide opportunities for underprivileged children. Smith, who died in a car accident in 2007 in Muncie, was a member and volunteer at the club. He was also a member of the Ball State University golf team.

Jimmy Smith, executive director of the club and father of Travis Smith, said the fund this year will pay a membership fee, plus program fees, for 74 kids during the summer. The membership fees are $30 a year and program fees are $30 to $50 a week for 11 weeks.

“It has been a God send to have the memorial fund so that kids who can’t afford to come to the club can come,” Smith said.

In addition to unveiling of the mosaic, children at the club could enter an essay contest, with the winner receiving music lessons for six months, Wrin said.

“The essay is on what music means to them in their life,” Wrin said. “We are hoping to have 10 winners.”

Wrin said The Music Shoppe, 1427 S. 25th St., donated guitars, a trumpet and saxophone. Wren, who selects an organization each year to help, said she hopes enough money can be raised from the mosaics to pay for 50 children memberships to the Boys and Girls Club at 924 N. 13th Street, in the former Chauncey Rose Middle School.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com.

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