Muncie’s arts community exploding

By Megan Havlin

Public art has long been a strong part of Muncie, dating as far back as the the gas boom in the early 1880s.

Different businesses and organizations around Muncie have worked to memorialize different parts of Muncie’s history. In 2018, the first public art’s plan was approved and in 2019, the plan was put into action.

The history of art in Muncie continues when famous painter Bob Ross filmed his television series “The Joy of Painting” here from 1983-1988. The filming took place in the Lucius L. Ball home, which later became a part of Minnetrista’s museum campus for the “Bob Ross Experience.”

Today, Muncie has many organizations helping to incorporate art into neighborhoods across the city. One organization, soon to celebrate 70 years, is the Muncie Artists Guild. The Muncie Artists Guild is made up of 31 artists who show their art in varying places around Muncie. Their mission is to promote art awareness and art appreciation within the Muncie community and East Central Indiana.

“We certainly have a lot of talent in Muncie and the surrounding areas; we also have the art students and faculty at Ball State, and I feel that Muncie could be a powerhouse when it comes to the arts – if we all work together and put our minds to it. Putting in a plug, the Muncie Artists Guild is a welcoming group who is open to new members,” said Lylanne Musselman, president of the Muncie Artists Guild.

Muncie also currently holds First Thursday. First Thursday is a public art event where residents and visitors get to walk through downtown Muncie and witness local artists create their work. They also have finished works, often for sale to the public.

“Art makes you feel good. Whether you’re the creator of the observer. If you see art in the community, it lifts the spirits, it makes people think, it gives people a sense of pride. It gives a feeling of belonging, a connection to past, future and the present – all at once.” Musselman said.

Dave Franklin, a resident of Muncie, describes his love for the art scene. His portrait can be viewed near the downtown roundabout at 199 W. Seymour St.

Sources: Minnetrista, Muncie Artists Guild

Images: Megan Havlin

Featured Image: Megan Havlin

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