- Associated Press - Thursday, December 17, 2015

LOGANSPORT, Ind. (AP) - New photographs, paintings and sculptures have popped up across downtown Logansport’s arts district.

Fundraising efforts have led to the installation of 14 new pieces. Those involved with and affected by the artistic additions say they improve the environments they work in, celebrate local artists, show vitality in an area that’s lost business and remember a local volunteer.

Dancing with Our Stars, which started in 2010 and ended in 2014, invited attendees to a night of dancing with well-known local figures. Proceeds went toward developing an arts district in downtown Logansport “complete with signage, pocket parks, and public art sculptures,” wrote Pam Leeman, one of the event’s organizers, in a press release.

Proceeds from the final Dancing with Our Stars in 2014, reported to have been the biggest in its history, provided for the most recent additions.

Among them are photographs of the No. 765 steam engine from Logansport photographer Jeremy Ashcraft. They’re displayed at the corner of Market and Fourth streets. The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society locomotive made its way through town this summer.

Three paintings in Jason Myers’ “In Whom We Trust” series are on display on Market Street behind Trine University’s Logansport campus. Those who walk and drive by will notice the elements of American currency that make up the pieces.

“The Beauty is in the Details” is a series of photographs from Logansport photographer Rich Voorhees at Little Turtle Waterway’s plaza. They encourage visitors “To look at the beauty beyond the obvious” in things like lichen on a rock, ripples in mud and reflection created by water in a parking lot, according to the press release.

Two paintings by Hugh Leeman, “Discovering the Energy” and “Making Contact,” stand in the 400 block of East Broadway. His “Toward the Sun in the Direction of Our Dreams” will be added in the next few weeks. Leeman grew up in Logansport and resides in San Francisco.

Paintings in Logansport painter Teri Partridge’s “Bike Series” span the north wall of a building being renovated into a visitors center on Fourth Street near East Melbourne Avenue. Partridge said in the press release the works were inspired by cycling enthusiasts in Cass County.

Two bronze statues are among the additions as well. “Girl on a Swing” stands at the pocket park outside Cass City Center on East Broadway and “Boy and Girl on a Trike” can be found on the west side of the budding visitor’s center. Both were selected by the late Kathy Dingo, who helped organize Dancing With our Stars and volunteered with many other local efforts. The statues were paid for by a memorial fund established in her memory.

Those who work downtown welcome the works, including Derek McGuire, owner of Fernbaugh’s Jewelers.

“We don’t have a lot of businesses downtown, so it kind of fills the void, for one thing,” he said.

Teri Bohm, who works at Fernbaugh’s Jewelers, agreed.

“I think it’s a really good thing,” she said. “…People notice it.”

When the local Trine campus was approached about placing Myers’ paintings on their property, two school officials said they jumped on the opportunity.

“It spices up the whole downtown, gives it some visual interest,” said Betsy Beatty, senior enrollment specialist at Trine’s Logansport campus.

Lori Lange, campus director, agreed.

“It promotes local artists, which I think is great,” she said.

Beatty and Lange were meeting with Whitney Driver, director of Graduate Enrollment for all of Trine’s Indiana campuses. She, too, admires the city’s artistic efforts downtown.

“It kind of gives it a Mass Ave. feel,” she said, referring to Massachusetts Avenue, one of Indianapolis’ cultural districts.

The leader of Logan’s Landing, a nonprofit organization that represents and works to improve downtown Logansport, spoke highly of the new art as well.

Becki Harris, the organization’s executive director, described it as a way for people to enjoy art without having to seek it out.

She’s especially fond of the bronze statues, one of which she gets to see when arriving at her office near the new visitors center.

“Every day when I park at the depot, I’m looking at the kids on the trike statue and it just makes me smile,” she said.

“Girl on a Swing” represents Dingo’s memory well, Harris continued.

“I saw a picture and heard it described but when I saw it, I said, ‘Yes, that’s Kathy,’” Harris said. “That’s exactly what is perfect to honor her memory in that little pocket park … She touched a lot of lives in this community. It hit exactly the right note. Just a very fitting tribute to her memory.”

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Source: (Logansport) Pharos-Tribune, http://bit.ly/1T3xuaC

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Information from: Pharos-Tribune, http://www.pharostribune.com

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