The worlds of industry and the arts are seldom thought to have much in common. And yet, on November 15, these two disparate worlds did indeed come together with an outcome far better than either group could have predicted.
Hoosier Pattern’s owner, Keith Gerber, came up with the idea of an Indoor Plein Air painting contest in which the artists would depict scenes from within his manufacturing plant, a building he and his 50 employees had occupied since 1997. Artists were guaranteed the purchase of one artwork each.
With the assistance of local art event organizers and Avon Waters – President of the Indiana Plein Air Painters Association (IPAPA) – 15 artists were invited to participate.
The artists came from as far away as Terre Haute and Springfield, OH. They arrived fully prepared to work. After a tour of the facility, and a brief explanation of Hoosier Pattern’s operations, sites were selected, easels were set up throughout the building (out of the way of forklifts and employees) and the artists got to work. Many different types of mediums were used: watercolor, oil, pastels, and acrylics. With an exception of a brief break for lunch and a gathering for a group photo, the artists worked from 10:00 until 2:00.
HPI employees voted on their three favorite works. Many commented that it was difficult to choose only three, because they were all so good.
Artists who participated were:
Sandy Hall, Greenfield, IN – FIRST PLACE
Lynne Dunnavant, Rosedale, IN – SECOND PLACE
Shelby Nower, Decatur, IN – THIRD PLACE
Avon Waters, Converse, IN
Diana Fair, Fort Wayne, IN
Tiffany Mendez, Decatur, IN
Curt Stanfield, Rosedale, IN
Darlene Vassil, Decatur, IN
Tim Swagerle, Peru, IN
John Kelty, Fort Wayne, IN
Robine Wright, Springfield, OH
Greg Mendez, Decatur, IN
Rebecca Justice. Schaab – Auburn, IN
Christel Gutelius, Mecca, IN
Terry Pulley, Wabash, IN
Prizes amounts awarded were:
1st Place – $750.00
2nd Place – $625.00
3rd Place – $500.00
HPI’s owner, Keith Gerber remarked that this event was clearly a win/win for both his company and the artists. Hoosier Pattern will frame and proudly display the art in their front offices and reception area. The artists were given the opportunity to paint an interior industrial setting instead of outside landscapes. This was a first for them. They also were able to paint indoors during November’s chilly temperatures.
Keith hopes that by sharing news of this very successful event, other manufacturers and businesses might consider sponsoring similar events, or would consider ways their companies might support the arts. Both the artists and Hoosier Pattern employees thoroughly enjoyed this experience. Should you have any questions about this particular event or if your company is interested in sponsoring a similar event, feel free to contact Laurie Mrvos, Human Resources at Hoosier Pattern: [email protected].