Art Spaces logo Upcoming Events

Turn to the River

Turn to the River is a comprehensive plan to reconnect downtown Terre Haute with the Wabash River through public art and design. It is an Our Town creative placemaking project, made possible with funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional support from Terre Haute Department of Redevelopment, a City of Terre Haute Arts Grant, Indiana State University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Ivy Tech Community College, and Our Green Valley Alliance for Sustainability.

Terre Haute's City Hall and the Vigo County Courthouse lie midway between the downtown and the river. This area and Fairbanks Park, the City's only existing public access point to the river, are the central components of the plan study area. Adjacent locations were studied when relevant as connecting locations.

Previous industrial use of riverside property led to a common disregard for the river as a precious natural asset. Recent establishment of the Wabashiki Wetlands on the west side of the river, and mounting interest in increasing and enhancing public access and amenities on the east side of the river ( the city side), have fueled community participation in the plan.

Turn to the River planning was conducted between September 2012 and July 2014. J3 Concepts, an urban consulting firm located in Terre Haute collected, tabulated and interpreted data, held public meetings, conducted research and worked closely with Art Spaces and representatives from the City of Terre Haute to develop the plan. Community members, civic leaders and stakeholders in the riverfront area all played a central role in the formation of the plan recommendations. Turn to the River Plan

Art Spaces plans to begin the design phase for Turn to the River in fall of 2014 and will focus on several key recommendations in the plan. Community engagement will be a critical component of this phase as well, and partnerships will be essential in moving the plan forward.

Turn to the River actively contributes to the economic vitality and livability of Terre Haute and the west-central region of the Wabash Valley. Anyone seeking more information or involvement is encouraged to contact Art Spaces at 812-235-2801 or

For more information on Turn to the River visiting artists:

Stacy Levy:

Betsy Damon:

Buster Simpson:

For additional on-line resources and information on creative placemaking and public art:

The National Endowment for the Arts - (an independent federal agency that funds and promotes artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities) Links include Creative Placemaking, a white paper for The Mayor's Institute on City Design by Ann Markusen and Anne Gadwa.

Green Museum - (on-line museum/encyclopedia of artists working in the field of environmental art)

Americans for the Arts - (national organization serving to advance the network of organizations and individuals who cultivate, promote, sustain and support the arts in the U.S.A.) Links connect to public art and creative placemaking resources and case studies.

Project for Public Places - (a nonprofit planning, design, and educational organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger The website offers news and information about placemaking projects and trends.

Reeve Hall Sculpture Project

Art Spaces is working in conjuction with Indiana State University to provide a unique outdoor sculpture to be located on the center island in the wide corridor between the two four-story buildings comprising Reeve Hall, a residential facility opening in September 2014. In this location the sculpture will be enjoyed by students, faculty, staff and visitors. The project will be completed in the spring of 2015.

2014 Max Ehrmann Poetry Competition Winners Announced

Art Spaces, Inc. and ISU Community School of the Arts are pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 Max Ehrmann Poetry Competition.

The Elementary School Winners are Jason Parsons, Katie Collins and Ariel Keep. Middle School Winners are Jessie Clark, Megan Freeman and Brooke Bertram. High School Winners are Colin Dombrowski, Blaine Scroggs and Madison King.

Adult Winners are Grand Prize, Frances Hubbs; Second Prize, Patrick Barcus; and Third Prize, John Davidson. Rachelle Martin Wilburn received the Art Spaces Choice Award and Kevin Hoolehan received the ISU Community School of the Arts Award.

Individuals living, working, or attending school in Clay, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Vermillion, and Vigo Counties were encouraged to submit poems inspired by this year's theme Treasures. 270 poems were received from 228 people with the competition being adjudicated by Jayne Marek, Indiana author, photographer, and teacher.

Jayne received a B.A. in English from St. Olaf College, an M.A. in English from Washington State University, a Ph.D. in English and American Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame. She has taught at colleges and universities in Illinois, Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana and in Hungary where she was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in English at the University of Debrecen. Currently she teaches creative writing, literature, film studies, and other topics at Franklin College in Indiana.

The Awards Ceremony to honor the winners was held at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College April 16th. The 2014 Max Ehrmann Poetry Competition was sponsored by St. Mary-of-the-Woods College with additional support from Arts Illiana, Barnes & Noble at ISU, Big Picture, Center for Community Engagement at ISU, Creative Writing Committee of ISU's Department of English, Delta Kappa Gamma, Downtown Terre Haute, Inc. The Golden Frame, River Wools, Vigo County Historical Society and Wise Pies.


"The Wabash: Volume II"

Following the success of the CD, The Wabash, musicians and composers were inspired to create The Wabash: Volume II.

This fresh collection of songs about the Wabash River performed by musicians with roots to the Wabash Valley of West Central Indiana and East Central Illinois include new songs and old favorites.

Both CD's are available through Art Spaces for $10 each and at various shops and venues including in Terre Haute: Baesler's Market, The Corner Grind, Barnes & Noble at ISU, Arts Illiana, Headstone Friends, American Tile & Sales, Pro Trade Tool & Supply; in Lafayette, IN the Tippecanoe Arts Federation; Wabash Coffee Shop in Hudsonville, IL and online at CD Baby

Both CDs were produced to raise funds for "The Paul Dresser Project", which will honor the world-renowned composer and Terre Haute native, with a sculpture near his boyhood home in Fairbanks Park. His best known work, "On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away" was adopted as the state song of Indiana in 1913.

"2013 Year of the River"
Provided an Impressive Array of Events

2013 Year of the River logo

2013 Year of the River a community-wide initiative based in West Central Indiana provided arts, cultural, environmental and educational events throughout 2013 that were focused on the Wabash River, and rivers and water as they affect our lives. It was spearheaded by: Art Spaces, Inc. - Wabash Valley Outdoor Sculpture Collection; Arts Illiana; and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Permanent Art Collections, all located in Terre Haute, Indiana.

The arts offer extraordinary avenues for engagement and understanding and in 2013 Year of the River, the arts were active in inspiring, connecting, engaging and revitalizing the Wabash Valley.

Many organizations came together to reclaim, enhance and protect this valuable natural resource. In recent years, the City of Terre Haute, Wabash Valley Riverscape, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and Indiana State University, have focused their attentions on the Wabash River, looking at its current realities and future possibilities.

Wabashiki, a recently designated 2400 acre site bordering the Wabash River at the western edge of the city offers a unique attribute that not many communities have so near to a metropolitan center. This area will now be able to positively function as a wetlands, and will encourage a focus on sustainability as Terre Haute grows and develops in ways that make sense for a bright and lively city in the 21st Century.

More than 90 groups, organizations and individuals participated in presenting 312 events including a Big Read, a Native American mound celebration, concerts, plays, nature walks, an outdoor art festival, cleanup projects, poetry competition, art exhibits, historical exhibits, group prayer sessions, murals, discussion series, lectures, tree planting, duck race, a midnight run, photo contest, artists lectures, hands on classes and more.

2013 Year of the River is already having a positive impact beyond 2013 and involved groups in the Wabash Valley area already are discussing another community-wide initiative for 2015!

Here are some articles featuring 2013 Year of the River:

Year of the River: Year-long celebration officially begins

Living on the banks

'Year of the River' brings focus to our Wabash bond

Hoosiers reflect on passions for Wabash River

ISU celebrates the "Year of the River"


Art Spaces to Honor Paul Dresser

Art Spaces will honor Paul Dresser, Terre Haute native and author of Indiana’s state song, with a sculpture near his home in Fairbanks Park. The installation and dedication are planned for Autumn 2014. Art Spaces anticipates that this sculpture honoring this world renowned cultural treasure¬† will become a destination site, attracting visitors as well as residents and students. Learn more about this project.

Articles Related to Paul Dresser:

' A Song for Indiana' to raise money for Dresser Sculpture

Mark Bennett: "A century later, 'On the Banks of the Wabash' still rises above Indiana politics"

"'On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away' honored after 100 years as Indiana's state song"

"City of Terre Haute honor April 22 as Paul Dresser Day"

"Happy Birthday to Paul Dresser"

Bond of Brothers

New public art project achieve goal

For more information about Paul Dresser, visit one of these websites:
Songwriters Hall of Fame: Paul Dresser
Paul Dresser: Popular Songwriter Crafted State Song
Indiana History: Paul Dresser


Artist Bill Wolfe with "Max Ehrmann at the Crossroads"
Indiana State University Other Sculpture CollectionsSign-up for Our Mailing ListContact UsOur CommunityFAQBoard of DirectorsOpportunities for InvolvementSupport Art SpacesCall for EntriesCurrent ProjectsOur Collection About Us Go to home page