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The Hendricks County Arts Council Appreciates & Celebrates Art

Writer  /  Christy Heitger-Ewing

When Peg McRoy Glover moved to Hendricks County, her first priority was getting involved in the arts community.

“I’ve been a lover of the arts my entire life,” says Glover, who prior to relocating to Danville had worked in advertising, marketing and public relations. “When my husband and I moved here, I was so pleased to discover that there is a thriving, exciting arts community in Hendricks County.”

For instance, in 2016 artist Tiffany Black painted a giant mural on the side of the Diesel building. Titled “Open Window,” it features the Amphitheater and Hendricks Symphonic Society, County Courthouse, Old Fashion Days Parade, Avon 200 Bicentennial Statue, Vandalia Trail, McCloud Nature Park, Hendricks Civic Theater and Lucas Oil Raceway, among other things. The man in the open window is former Indiana Governor William Hendricks (after whom the county was named). Black included snippets of pictures throughout the mural as well as a scroll that acts as a key to explain everything in the painting.

The Hendricks County Arts Council (HCAC) began in Danville, but Glover, now president of the HCAC, recognized that the group was not fulfilling its original vision, which is to be a leader and collaborator of the arts in Hendricks County. Therefore, Glover and her board members have been working to connect with leadership not only in Danville but also in Avon, Plainfield and Brownsburg as well.

“These communities have been reaching out to us,” Glover says. “They’re as interested in supporting the art community as we are.”

As a result of such collaboration, the HCAC has experienced amazing growth during the past year.

“As a visual artist, who had put my art career on hold for many years, Hendricks County has given me the opportunity to finally have the art career I always wanted,” says Pam Halliburton, a painter and HCAC board member. “I’ve participated in events and activities I never dreamed I would.”

The reason so many folks feel so passionate about the arts is because they recognize the beneficial nature of the arts in our lives.

“Studies have shown that children who participate in the arts perform better in school,” says Glover, noting that in the future they would like to develop a children’s program. “We feel it’s our responsibility to help foster creativity and enthusiasm for the arts in our youth.”

Elizah Monai Griffith, a student at Herron School of Art and HCAC board member, is pleased by how the people of Hendricks County have embraced her.

“I’ve found nothing but support — no head-shaking, finger-wagging, or parental lecturing when I say proudly, ‘I’m an artist!’” she says.

The HCAC supports the Hendricks Symphonic Society, the Biz Academy of Musical Theatre and the Sketchpad Art Studio. Last summer Plainfield hosted Play-n-Field in the Park, which combined both visual and performing arts. That event is scheduled to repeat annually.

This past winter, the Hendricks Symphony Orchestra and Chorus performed Heroic Music, featuring Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony and a side-by-side with Brownsburg Middle School Strings. In March, the Hendricks Civic Theatre performed “Shrek, the Musical.”

Upcoming events include the Hendricks Symphony Orchestra and Chorus: Celebrating Brahms on May 4 at 7:30 p.m. & May 6 at 3:00 p.m. at Avon Middle School North and the Children’s Ballet performs “The Golden Cuckoo” on May 24 at 6:30 p.m. and May 26 at 2:00 p.m. at Danville High School.

“The 30th season of the Children’s Ballet is turning out to be one of our best, and we look forward to even more opportunities this year to share our love of dance with the community,” says Anne Johansson, Executive Director of the Children’s Ballet.

In addition, Reflected Light 2018: A Midsummer Art Exhibition by artist Brian Russelburg will take place at the Gallery of Bread of Life located in Avon on July 20 from 6-9:30 p.m.

“The Arts provide for us all a means to express our individuality, our loves, needs, even disappointments,” says Russelburg, curator of Make an Impression and Reflected Light. “When we understand this, then we are all artists, and since we share the same human emotions, it opens doors for us to agree, relate and love those creative expressions from others.”

Glover maintains that the preservation and celebration of art is crucial to civilization because art is the one thing that survives us all.

“Art speaks to generation after generation,” Glover says. “Think about it. When people travel, they want to hit the art museums and see the public art displays. It’s a universal language. Michelangelo’s David still speaks to us through the centuries.”

Plus, artists oftentimes can see something that the rest of us don’t. So, when they create a still life, a portrait or a landscape, they enable the world to see the beauty of something or someone through their lens.

The HCAC meets at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Monday of each month in the boardroom of the Hendricks County 4H Fair Complex. The meeting is always open to the public. In fact, they welcome newcomers.

“We’re always looking to grow our board and hear fresh ideas from the community,” Glover says.

Anyone who would like to support the arts in Hendricks County may send a donation through the website. The Council is also recruiting volunteers to help with event planning.

“It’s such an exciting time to be part of the Arts Council right now,” Glover says. “We welcome others to join the fun.”

The HCAC is located in Danville. For more information, visit hendrickscountyarts.org or call 317-563-1115.

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