A bison — with no name yet — will take up residence on the Brown County Courthouse lawn before Memorial Day.
The 5-foot by 8-foot fiberglass statue was delivered to the Brown County Community Foundation March 29.
Fiberglass bison will be decorated across the state to celebrate Indiana’s bicentennial — or bison-tennial — this year. Bison are depicted on the Indiana state seal. The Indiana Association of United Ways is facilitating the public art project with the goal of placing one bison, or even a herd, in each of Indiana’s 92 counties to celebrate Indiana’s 200th Statehood Day on Dec. 11.
On March 30, Nashville Arts & Entertainment Commission member Nancy Crocker was taking Brown County’s bison to Al’s Paint and Body Inc. to get its first coat of paint.
The plan is to have the base coat look similar to an actual bison. A group of artists will then paint maple leaves on top of it, with some mimicking the leaves on the statue in front of the Brown County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
They want to have the bison look as if he is standing under a maple tree on the courthouse lawn during the fall, Crocker said.
“We are going to have several artists working on it, so it will be kind of cool because every artist paints a little differently,” she said.
The Nashville Town Council voted to support the project, led in part by the Nashville Arts & Entertainment Commission and Brown County Community Foundation.
Plans are in the works to feature the bison in the Spring Blossom Parade and have it on display during the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay.
The bison will be placed on a stand with sandbags to keep it secure wherever it sits. It weighs less than 100 pounds, so it could be moved.
“There’s all kinds of fun ideas that we’ve played with, like playing ‘Where’s the bison this month?’ and taking him and putting him places. But nothing is in stone,” Crocker said. “It’s going to be kind of a fun thing for town.”
Crocker and Community Foundation CEO Larry Pejeau helped raise $2,000 to bring the bison here and decorate it.
Fourteen local businesses and organizations donated.
A&E Commission members are still accepting donations for bison maintenance and future A&E Commission projects. Members are Crocker, Catherine Martin, Kathy Anderson, Scott Hutchinson, Anabel Hopkins, Michael Fulton, Anne Ryan Miller, Chuck Wills and Suzannah Levett-Zody.
Anyone interested in helping decorate the bison can email Crocker at NKC417@yahoo.com.
Crocker is also looking for input on names for Brown County’s bison. Suggestions can be emailed to NKC417@yahoo.com.