State Parks Subject of Art Exhibition

Art exhibition includes 70 paintings chronicling artist’s two-year study of parks’ unique features.

Native Hoosier artist Rick Wilson spent two years visiting Indiana’s state parks, creating 70 paintings that capture the parks’ unique character in all four seasons. On March 3, the paintings can be viewed in a First Friday show at Indiana Landmarks Center’s Rapp Family Gallery, 1201 Central Avenue in Indianapolis.

The product of a personal Indiana Bicentennial project, the 70 paintings in the “Nature of Art: Painted Parks” exhibition highlight the parks’ defining characteristics, from indigenous flora and native wildlife to inspiring vistas. Visitors may recognize, for example, a herd of bison at Ouabache State Park near Bluffton and the canyons of Turkey Run State Park in Parke County.

Influenced by the Hudson River and Barbizon schools of painters, Wilson’s work displays a similarly luminous style and focus on nature. To create the works in this exhibition, he visited each of Indiana’s state parks, as well as reservoirs, and state recreation and fish and wildlife areas, completing “Nature of Art” just in time for the state’s bicentennial and the state park system’s 100th anniversary last year. Wilson lives in Edinburgh, Indiana.

During the First Friday opening, 6-9 p.m., you can also tour Indiana Landmarks Center, 1201 Central Avenue in Indianapolis. Built as a Methodist church in the nineteenth century, the adapted structure holds theaters and a reception hall in addition to the gallery and Indiana Landmarks’ headquarters.

WHAT: First Friday Art show, “Nature of Art:  Painted Parks”

WHO: Painter Rick Wilson

WHEN: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, March 3

WHERE: Indiana Landmarks Center, Rapp Family Gallery, 1201 Central Ave.

COST: Admission is free

CONTACT:  Mark Szobody,

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