- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 30, 2014

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) - A bronze sculpture honoring the composer of Indiana’s state song is now in place at a park near his Terre Haute boyhood home.

The sculpture titled “A Song for Indiana” honors Paul Dresser, whose work included his 1897 composition of “On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away.”

A crane lifted the 6-1/2 foot-tall sculpture and its limestone base into place Monday in Fairbanks Park. The surface of the sculpture includes a portrait of Dresser, along with images from the song’s lyrics, the Tribune-Star reported (http://bit.ly/1qRkcxJ ).

“The whole, general idea of it is the river flowing into musical lines,” artist Teresa Clark, of Terre Haute, said. “That’s the broader theme of the whole piece - Paul Dresser’s moment of inspiration.”

Dresser moved to New York City wrote numerous popular songs in the late 1800s before his death at age 47 in 1906. The Indiana Legislature named “On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away” as the state song in 1913 - four years before the adoption of the state flag.

The cost of the sculpture project is about $80,000, and is being paid for the by nonprofit group Art Spaces, which promotes public art in the Terre Haute area.

Art Spaces began work on the sculpture project during 2013 Year of the River, and the artwork is part of the organization’s efforts to reconnect downtown with the Wabash River through public art and design.

The sculpture was covered with tarp after Monday’s installation and will be unveiled during a public dedication ceremony scheduled for Oct. 15.

Clark said she was honored to be chosen to make the sculpture.

“Terre Haute is not my native city, but I have come to love this place,” she said. “I have lived here 10 years now. There is such a rich history here.”

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Information from: Tribune-Star, http://www.tribstar.com

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