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.
GREENCASTLE BLOSSOMS: 17 South Vine Street, Greencastle, IN, 46135
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
WHAT GROWS HERE: 2721 West County Road 100 South, Greencastle, IN, 46135
PUTNAM COUNTY MURAL PROJECT
12 WEST WASHINGTON STREET, GREENCASTLE, IN, 46135