Each mural has involved the community in some way, reflecting the county’s passion for both public art and community engagement. Taking the lead is the Putnam County Mural Project (PCMP), launching the Putnam County Mural Festival in September, 2022. Having selected five artists from an international pool of applicants, the PCMP will see two new murals installed in Roachdale, two more in Greencastle and one in Fillmore, taking the current seven murals to a countywide total of 13 reasons to make short trips and appreciate and enjoy beautiful, colorful scenes any time.
The first three murals are in downtown Greencastle, close enough to each other that it’s best to explore these on foot. Park in the Putnam County Library parking lot, at 103 East Poplar Street, Greencastle, and make your first stop inside the library. There you will find “Read. Think. Create!” above the circulation desk, designed to highlight the old and new of libraries.
From the library, travel to 25 South Vine Street, about 25 steps to the north. “Starlight Barn Quilts” was the third mural installation by the Greencastle Civic League and lead artist Amy Welch. Installed in 2016 on the back of the Hammer & Co. building, the mural was inspired by the owner’s love of quilts and the painted quilts found on barns throughout the region.
Another 75 steps north of that is “Greencastle Blossoms.” With input from the building owner, Eitel’s & Co., local artist Amy Welch and a group of volunteers installed and painted the mural in just six days. Eitel’s & Co. was Greencastle’s locally-owned florist for 111 years. Walk back to your car at the Putnam County Library. From here, you’ll want to drive to the next murals.
At 204 N. Indiana Street, in Roachdale, the “Spirit of Roachdale” mural was designed and painted by artist Holly Cooper and a group of volunteers in 2017. Commissioned by the Roachdale Revitalization Cooperative Alliance, the mural celebrates the history and revitalization of the town of Roachdale, home to an annual Rib & Blues festival every September.
Heading back to downtown Greencastle, go west on Walnut Street and travel to 2721 West County Road 100 South. The “What Grows Here” mural, painted on the side of a barn just west of downtown Greencastle, is meant to bring poetry to people’s everyday life while also calling attention to local food production. The mural grew from a joint initiative between DePauw University’s 2019 ArtsFest program and the Word Hunger Project developed by Joyce Brinkman, Indiana’s first poet laureate. The poem is written by Joe Heithaus, professor of English at DePauw and a published poet. The mural was painted by local artist Jerry Bates, the woodshop and studio assistant at DePauw, with assistance from Travis LaMothe, DePauw 2010 graduate, and Professor Heithaus.
In Limedale, a charming burg a few miles south of Greencastle, stop at 3168-3180 Cement Plant Road, strap on your tennis shoes and grab a bottle of water for an easy walk on the Putnam County Nature Trail, part of People Pathways. The trail is flat and stone-covered through a wooded landscape, and this section is approximately 2.25 miles in length, or 4.5 miles round trip. People Pathways asked the Greencastle Civic League to paint an old metal railway box at the head of the new nature trail segment that follows the former Pennsylvania Railroad rail bed. Local artist Sarah Chizum designed and painted the mural, that includes a nod to both the Penn Railroad and People Pathways.
Wrapping up this tour is Indiana’s largest mural, “The Silos,” on the northwest corner of US 231 and Veterans Memorial Hwy, in Greencastle. You can’t miss it. Commissioned by the Putnam County Mural Project, a group formed in 2018 to install murals across the county, the theme, style and final designs were selected through a collaborative process with community members. International artist Key Detail was selected, and the mural was painted over two weeks in September, 2019.
Descriptions and information about the newest murals can be found by clicking the [+] below.
The City of Greencastle’s 200th anniversary was celebrated in 2023 through art. A panel of community leaders helped select mural artist Damien Mitchell from a field of more than 40 candidates, and another panel provided historical information to help him create a visual representation of the community’s 200 years. A two-century collage of images on this 1,600 x 1,800’ wall celebrates chemist/entrepreneur Percy Julian and Edith Browning (AKA “the chewing gum lady”) as representatives of thousands of people whose lives began in, and impacted, this Putnam County city of 10,000 over two centuries; a Monon Railroad train engine; the Seal of the City of Greencastle; a covered bridge; and many more scenes, in illustrative design and vibrant color, from the city’s past and present. Damien Mitchell is a Brooklyn based graffiti artist and muralist from Wagga Wagga, Australia. Beginning in Prague in 2005, his early work, mainly consisting of stencils, grew into a focus on large-scale murals. His work includes both distorted realistic characters and scenes taken from the people and places around him. He has painted and exhibited in various countries on six continents and has also produced large-scale artwork for the Global Mural Conference, DKNY, Nike, MTV Music Video Awards, Doctors Without Borders, and the MLB All Star Game, among numerous others.
All Are Welcome:
North of the Courthouse, in the heart of downtown Greencastle, this “Welcome” mural is the ideal complement to the Putnam County Visitors Center. By facing the Visitors Center “cove,” a paved, park-like area for pedestrians, this mural is a popular place for photographs. It features vibrant blocks of color, blue skies, large peonies (Indiana’s state flower), and Monarch butterflies to align with the missions of Putnam Parks & Pathways, Friends of the Park of Putnam County and the Putnam County Parks Board, which coordinate their countywide outdoor recreation efforts in the Visitors Center. Free and easy parking is along Washington Street, immediately north of the mural. Born in Omaha, Cameron is no stranger to Indiana. He has curated a mural fest in the northwestern city of Rensselaer that has installed more than 40 murals, six of which are his work. Cameron’s art is highly influenced by nature and community, resulting in murals that aim to bring hope and joy to all who experience them. Now in San Francisco, where he lives with his wife and two sons, he focuses mostly on murals and community involvement that includes teaching art classes for all ages. He also curates gallery shows and art festivals to fulfill his desire to help other artists pursue their passion, art and business.
On the northwest corner of the Putnam County Courthouse Square, this mural establishes the city’s public art vibe for virtually everyone coming into Greencastle from the north. Entering downtown on US 231, the somewhat muted fall colors of oranges, tans, greens, and black, in a pattern reminiscent of a stained-glass window, will catch your eye on the right. While it’s not public parking, art lovers are welcome to pull into the Banner Graphic lot immediately in front of this installation covering two complete walls of the two-story building. This work is an easy walk to the “Welcome” mural at the Putnam County Visitors Center and also to the “Greencastle Bicentennial” mural one block to the east. Born and raised in Germany by Ukrainian parents, Berlin-based Isakov travels the world installing thought-provoking murals that blend architectural forms, ornamentation and patterns that complement natural surroundings. While studying Light Design at HAWK Hildesheim, Isakov’s interest in abstract, visual art led to an interest in architecture and ornamentation. This became the inspiration for his career as an independent artist. His murals can be found around the world, including outdoor spaces in Albania, Austria, Georgia, Germany, Jordan, Serbia, Sweden, and more. This is in addition to a considerable worldwide portfolio of indoor murals.
Sunset In Farmland:
The Fillmore Elementary School mascot is the Cardinal, Indiana’s state bird, and this installation is across the street from the school and just east of the Fillmore Park. The artist involved the elementary students in creating mural content ideas, and they frequently visited while the work was in progress. When she finished the project, the artist said, “The content of the mural was inspired by the students and is for the students. I like to use vibrant color to bring into focus the beauty that already exists around us, so I was thankful the Fillmore students were also excited about nature, farming and a cardinal.” Visible from both the east and south, this two-wall mural features the blazing colors of a summer sunset, which blend beautifully into the feathers and beak of the cardinal which dominates the south-facing wall. Rolling green farm fields are framed by the silhouette of a distant treeline, and blueberries, a prolific local fruit, add a distinct splash of purple. Facing the school is an outline of the State of Indiana, illustrated with agricultural highlights of the area and a red heart beating where the Town of Fillmore is located. This work is only steps from People Pathways, the county’s 20-mile trail system letting walkers, runners and bike riders go east into Hendricks County or west into Greencastle. Holly has installed beautiful murals across Putnam County and Central Indiana. She holds a BA degree in fine art from Anderson University and an MFA in painting and drawing from New York Studio School, where she received the Gertrude Whitney Conner Scholarship for Excellence. A former art teacher at South Putnam High School, Holly now teaches painting, drawing and art history at Anderson University. She enjoys spending the warmer months working on public art projects and murals while painting in her studio throughout the winter.
Good Luck Charm:
The original peeling-white-paint-patina plays a major role in this piece that uses only five colors – black, white, light lime green, pale pink, and a background of muted teal. Large portions of the bottom section background which, in most cases reflects the garden bed, was cleaned and left unpainted as a nod to the original façade. The brainchild of the sometimes-collaborating artist couple, the work is “clean design meets abundant, folksy imagery; logic and order meets messy chaos,” as they describe it. Mural aficionados will describe it as muted, maybe “nursery rhymey,” cute, and definitely fun. The artists dug into local signage, architecture and traditions for inspiration of the garden scene, using symbols that relate to the place and its future, with the goal of inspiring the viewer. Anna Kell and Jonathan Frey are a sometimes-collaborating artist couple based in Lewisburg, Pa., where they teach painting and drawing at Bucknell University. They met in the MFA program at the University of Florida in Gainesville, however both hail from the Midwest. Anna is from Columbus, Ind., and Jon is from Dayton, Ohio. The duo has exhibited their art around the world as a collaborative and also as solo artists. As muralists, they approach their work in a way that incorporates neighborhood context, history and surroundings. Together, they have been artists-in-residence at Soaring Gardens (Wyalusing, Pa.), research fellows at Cincinnati’s Lloyd Library & Museum and have shared their collaborative work in various galleries, conferences and publications since 2010.
Imagination Is Destination:
Harriet Watson’s goal with this mural, in the heart of downtown Roachdale’s community park, was to give back to the community with thanks for all she, as a child growing up in Putnam County, learned about art and how it can empower people. She said she was excited about creating something vibrant near where children can view and play nearby, and “vibrant” might be the key word. In oranges, reds, yellows, purples, and more, one wall of the work illustrates stone steps in a lush garden that lead to a round nebula of color, reflecting the beauty of where imagination and creativity can take all of us. Another wall includes a child reading and another on a laptop, with both in front of a wooden door that’s clearly bursting with light, reflecting potential, on the other side. Born in Indianapolis, raised in Greencastle, and based in Bloomington, Harriet studied art at Ohio Wesleyan and Herron School of Art & Design before finishing a degree in psychology from Indiana University. Harriet is inspired by art history, especially art from the ’70s created by black feminists like Faith Ringgold and Adrian Piper. Now on a path to build out her mural portfolio, she says a goal of all her work is for people to converse about the importance and intersectionality of murals, art, nature, and mental health. In 2020, Harriet was one of 18 artists selected to paint the Black Lives Matter street mural in Indianapolis, and was also interviewed/exhibited at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. She is an active member of the Eighteen Art Collective in Indy and runs her own business selling her art and clothing brand.
200 YEARS: 1 East Franklin Street, Greencastle, IN, 46135
ALL ARE WELCOME: 2 West Washington Street, Greencastle, IN, 46135
CONTEMPLATIVE COLORS: 100 North Jackson Street, Greencastle, IN, 46135
GOOD LUCK CHARM: 5 Railroad Street, Roachdale, IN, 46172
GREENCASTLE BLOSSOMS: 17 South Vine Street, Greencastle, IN, 46135
IMAGINATION IS DESTINATION: 305 South Indiana Street, Roachdale, IN, 46172
PUTNAM COUNTY NATURE TRAIL: 3168-3180 Cement Plant Roadd, Greencastle, IN, 46135
READ. THINK. CREATE!: 103 East Poplar Street, Greencastle, IN, 46135
SILO MURAL: 700 Broadway Street, Greencastle, IN, 46135
SPIRIT OF ROACHDALE: 204 North Indiana Street, Roachdale, IN, 46172
STARLIGHT BARN QUILTS: 25 South Vine Street, Greencastle, IN, 46135
SUNSET IN FARMLAND: 158 South Main Street, Fillmore, IN, 46128
WHAT GROWS HERE: 2721 West County Road 100 South, Greencastle, IN, 46135