The Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) awarded Miami County based non-profit, Art Nature Consortium (ANC) $4,000 to promote waterway conservation using art as communication. This week the IAC announced it would provide partial funding for a project by five Indiana artists and three Indiana writers that brings awareness to the need to restore Indiana waterways. The project using 100 paintings, essays, and community presentations is a way to inform the public.

The project sponsored by Art Nature Consortium promotes conservation efforts to restore 65,000 miles of Indiana waterways. During Covid-19, the five Hoosier artists began this project due to many of their group activities being cancelled. In August 2020, around an outside BBQ grill, the artists committed to paint Indiana waterways for 18 months and then create a touring exhibition.

“Pretty early on, we discovered how interested others were in what we were doing,” said Avon Waters, lead artist for the project and CEO of ANC.

Since that 2020 BBQ gathering, the project added three conservation essayists, and a 200-page book to accompany the traveling exhibitions that will start at the Indiana State Museum in October 2022 and will end in December 2023 at the Hoosier Art Salon in New Harmony. During this time, writers and artists will be giving free public discussions on art and conservation as part of the IAC grant.

“Some of the artists like talking to public gatherings. This is a way to broaden the impact of the project,” Waters said. “We will be presenting at libraries in rural and urban areas, and showing how anyone interested in the beauty of our rivers and streams can become involved.”

Other funding sources include the Indiana Division of the Izaak Walton League of America, and the Indiana Humanities Council. Individuals also contributed from $20 to $750 each toward the $45,000 project.

“We continue to receive individual donations, many from whom are fellow artists and believe in what we are doing,” said John Kelty, a project watercolor artist.
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