Interview with “Bison-Tennial” artist, Susie Byerley

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The Indiana Bison-Tennial Art Project, coordinated by United Way, has given the opportunity for artists from all 92 counties in Indiana to work on a unique canvas: a bison.

The project in Visit French Lick West Baden has come a long way, thanks to the amazingly talented Susie Byerley, who has been an artist as long as she can remember. Her usual medium for projects and art overall is oil painting. The largest project she has ever painted was the Pride of Paoli Band Props from 2003 to 2007 and still consults occasionally from season to season. However the most unusual project she has ever participated in started a few weeks ago with the bison. Byerley said that she is excited for the challenges the bison  will bring and used endearing terms such as “bucket-list project” to represent her county. She also stated it was a great opportunity for “posterity” and that she will forever cherish these “memories with her grandkids,” whom have helped alongside her during this project. Susie drew the inspiration for this project from Orange County, being born and raised in Paoli herself. 

Susie has spent hours upon hours working on the bison. She said she wasn’t so sure about the bison at first but then “fell in love with him when I first saw him,” Byerley stated.  Susie said this project means a lot to her, which led her to state that she “wanted the county to be well represented.” For Susie, the hardest part of the canvas to incorporate was “all the different aspects of the county.” Her other works of art can be purchased in Brown County Art Gallery, and the Lost River Market and Deli.

Check out our website for a comprehensive schedule of events!

Bison-tennial project has begun! (Updated)

Believe it or not, it’s Indiana’s 200th birthday! The only thing better than a bicentennial is a bison-tennial and we just got our bison! We still aren’t sure on a name, (if you have a suggestion feel free to contact us or comment below) and we’re still a little unsure as to how we’re going to wrap up ALL of the things we want to put on our big guy/girl, but either way, the excitement is overwhelming! We’ll keep updating our blog with more photos. There will be a lot more where this came from!  

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Update: Susie Byerley has started in on the painting of the bison! Find a few preliminary photos below and stay tuned for more! 

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