Indiana’s plein air painters urge preservation

In 2000, the Indiana Plein Air Painters Association published a very popular book featuring the works of 5 well known plein air painters who traveled the state and created paintings in each of Indiana’s 92 counties.

The Madison County painting, which features Mounds Park, was created by Lyle Denny.  Here’s what he wrote about it– “There are many beautiful places to paint in this county… but I chose Mounds State Park because of the Indian history and the hills.  I love to hike with a camera and each time I visit this overlook of the White River, I stop to soak it in.…”

In the preface of the book, IPAPA’s president, Anne Bryan Carter wrote the following pertinent observations:

We discovered that the gift of Indiana’s richness is a precious thing, and it is woven into the paintings that the artists have produced.  Throughout the project, our concern for these wonderful places has grown.  The changes of the last 100 years have not all been positive– the price of progress can be too high if scenic and unspoiled places are adversely and irreversible affected.  Much of Indiana’s land has changed since the turn of the last century, and the pristine view that has been painted by artists of the past has become more difficult to find.  But somewhere in every area we passed through, there are wetlands, wildlife refuges, state parks, and preserves.  These places, left to themselves to grow unencumbered, offer homes to countless varieties of native wildlife and vegetation.   The importance of preserving them became abundantly clear to us as we experienced the undisturbed Indiana lands.  Will they be there for artists in another hundred years?   Only with careful planning, protection, and involvement of all of us who understand the gifts that they provide and will continue to provide for our descendants can we be sure of their longevity. ”   (emphasis added)

Painting Indiana, Indiana Plein Air Painters Association, 2000

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