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Herron's Dickerson celebrates 'The Hoosier Spirit' with new Indiana State Fair commission

Celebrating the Hoosier Spirit, Artist Jamie Dickerson
Celebrating the Hoosier Spirit, Artist Jamie Dickerson View print-quality image


August 10, 2012

Contact Information:

  • Diane Brown
    IU Communications
  • Rob Bullock, Herron School of Art and Design

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Along with the opportunity to eat their way to the Midway and check out the barnyard blue ribbons at this year’s Indiana State Fair, fair-goers can experience Herron School of Art and Design junior Jamie Dickerson’s new outdoor sculpture.

"Celebrating the Hoosier Spirit," a namesake sculpture that was dedicated Aug. 3 at the opening of this year’s Indiana State Fair, is a semi-permanent work that will be on display for up to five years in Dow Agro Sciences Celebration Park, in the northeast quadrant of the fairgrounds near the 4-H buildings and free stage. The 2012 fair runs through Aug. 19.

Her concept for the sculpture “celebrates Indiana as a major agricultural state that is increasingly exploring ways to use its renewable and plentiful agriculture resources in the production of biofuels and plastics from corn, beyond food production,” Dickerson said.

"Celebrating the Hoosier Spirit" is composed of three forms evoking corn husks, each about 5 feet wide and ranging in height from 11 to 12 feet, curving upward to imply a growing, energetic spirit. Each form is large enough for people to walk through “and explore the beauty and versatility of this resource,” Dickerson said. The Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen’s Association donated the wood for the project.

One visitor to Celebration Park, writing for AgriNews, admired Dickerson’s work, citing “the beautiful green streaks and dark tones of poplar, the rich browns of white oak and the pinkish-red hues of sycamore trees that artist Jamie Dickerson used to showcase the unique textures and grains of Indiana hardwoods in her piece.”

Fair officials partnered with the Arts Council of Indianapolis to issue a request for proposals, specifying that the work be made primarily with recycled materials or materials synonymous with the State of Indiana, and that it “inspire a celebration of the Hoosier spirit.”

The Arts Council’s Public Art Selection Committee, which consists of experts in their respective fields and includes artists, arts advocates, curators, administrators and other arts and community development specialists, reviewed proposals and presented recommendations to the fair officials for the final selection. Dickerson’s was the only student submission.

“Jamie’s (proposal) was really nice in that she submitted a 3-D rendering of what the piece would look like on the grounds of the Indiana State Fair,"said Lindsey Lord of the Indianapolis Arts Council. "She also submitted scale models of the sculpture. She included textures, all sorts of things that really gave you a feel of what the finished product would look like.”

Dickerson contributed her confidence in submitting a proposal to training and working with people at Herron who have extensive experience.

“The curriculum at Herron really helps to prepare you to make professional proposals and to submit them in a way that’s very clean … that you are saying what you mean to be saying ... and also to be clear about what materials you may or may not use, because there are always going to be some alterations in the process,” Dickerson said.