Art gifts

Opening of the annual exhibition of the arts league at the CDPL

Journal review

The Mary Bishop Memorial Gallery at the Crawfordsville District Public Library announced the Montgomery County Arts League’s annual exhibit and the league’s ninth annual Arts Walk.

The exhibition will run from Friday to November 7 with the Art Walk running from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. The exhibition will include works by more than a dozen league members. Visitors can view more than 70 original works of art, including a photographic “vacation” in the American Southwest and a proud grandmother’s graduation gift. Other subjects are painting of domestic animals, nostalgic paintings of old barns, and three-dimensional art in various media.

CDPL currently houses the league’s permanent art collection. The framed works of local artists, past and present, can be seen primarily on the second floor. The permanent collection also includes the bicentennial quilt which hangs in the adult reading room on the first floor. It has 42 hand-sewn squares depicting various scenes from local history and colorful traditions. The quilt was donated to the community by the league in 1976.

The league has been present in this community for 125 years. The organization now known as the Art League was founded in 1896 by a group of eleven women interested in art history, needlework, and socializing. It used to be called the League of Artists.

The founding principle of community beautification has remained constant; the activities and direction of the organization have varied to reflect the changes and events of the time. The league continues to work with local organizations to ensure these types of traditions continue. During the Art Walk tour, stroll the 100 block of East Main Street to see the installation of the new mural which is sponsored by the Tippecanoe Arts Federation (TAF), Crawfordsville Main Street, the Community Foundations of the Montgomery County and many others.

Philanthropic projects, such as helping underserved children and helping hospital programs, have been a key focus of the league. Each year, the league presents financial awards to an outstanding senior from each high school in the county. The goal is to encourage their continued interest and participation in the arts into adulthood. The league also encourages adults to participate in the arts and has actively sponsored the Athens Art Gallery since 2010. Many members are artists, volunteers and / or members of the gallery board.

For more information on Athens Arts memberships or events, contact Diana McCormick at [email protected]

For nearly a decade, the league sponsored the Downtown Fall Art Exhibit, a prestigious jury-based competition that drew regional artists from Montgomery County and surrounding counties in west-central Indiana. For a 10-day period each fall, visitors could view over 100 works of art in the shop windows of downtown Crawfordsville. The artistic walk reflects this activity and is currently sponsored by the league and Crawfordsville Main Street.

Many downtown businesses, including the Carnegie Museum, will have identifiable red balloon markers and showcase local artwork to visitors on their self-guided tour. Stop by the Farmers’ Market and Oktoberfest at Pike Place to meet local artists, learn about upcoming opportunities, and pick up a self-guided art walk brochure.

The league welcomes new members. To find out how to get involved, contact Kathleen Steele at [email protected] or Peggy Herzog at [email protected]

If you are an artist or member of an artist group and would like to exhibit your work at the Mary Bishop Memorial Gallery in 2023, please contact the gallery coordinator at 765-362-4618 for more information.

Visit for details on CDPL’s hours of operation.

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