The intrinsic qualities of Indiana Limestone are still recognized today, not only by architects and builders, but also by artists and sculptors. Indiana limestone is a remarkable stone, ranging from a light gray to a bluish-gray in color, sometimes oxidizing to a shade of buff. It's ease of workability and ability to accept and retain fine details, make it a favorite among stone carvers.
Today's carvers are a diverse group of artists. Some are born to it, still working in the industrial side of the business alongside or in the tradition of their fathers, uncles or brothers who have done the same. Others are artists who have sought out the beauty and ease of limestone, sometimes across long distances, after exploring other mediums.
Indiana Limestone Symposium
Each June, the Indiana Limestone Symposium brings together experienced carvers, hopeful artists and complete novices in an open area on the grounds of the Bybee Stone Company in Ellettsville, Indiana. Instructed by nationally-known stone artists with ears of carving experience in sculptural and architectural carving, these artists learn to carve or improve their technique under the Indiana summer sun.
The Symposium was founded in 1996 by two master stone sculptors, Amy Brier and Frank Young. It is based on the Greek model of coming together for discussion and celebration, and continues the tradition of sculpture symposia that have proliferated in Europe and Asia. Symposium instructors believe that anyone with the desire to carve can learn how. The atmosphere is relaxed, congenial, and non-judgmental. Instructors are available at all times to guide participants through the process of carving from start to finish.
Local Artists Working in Indiana Limestone
Limestone is a choice medium for many artists. The stone is soft, making it easy to cut by hand or using pneumatic tools, and it's homogeneous so it can be cut in any direction. Local artists are listed below; browse their websites to see their beautiful limestone artwork.
A co-founder of the Indiana Limestone Symposium, Amy has exhibited her work locally, nationally and internationally. She is a board member of the Stone Carver's Guild. Amy combines traditional carving techniques with contemporary art ideas such as public interaction and appropriation. Amy's architectural carvings can be seen on the new Simon Hall on the IU campus and her sculpture Impression can be seen on the Bloomington campus of Ivy Tech. Amy's unique Roliquery series features a carved limestone sphere on a bed of sand that the viewer can use to create images in the sand.
Creator of the centerpiece sculpture located near City Hall on Bloomington's B-Line Trail, Dale Enochs is a local artist working in limestone. Dale's work has been on display at the Indianapolis International Airport, in Bloomington area art galleries and restaurants and at the Indiana Governor's Residence.His sculptures range from small table top pieces to huge, outdoor installations.
The works of this stone carver range from traditional architectural elements to lifelike sculpture. His work can be seen locally at the Karst Dog Park and on his website.