Bloomington, IN: Indiana Limestone Symposium Open House

June is Limestone Month, and Southern Indiana certainly has a lot of limestone. This area has 10 quarries alone, so there have been lots of various events over the month, but unfortunately most of them happen during the day. But since we had some time on Thursday afternoon, we headed over to Ellettsville's Bybee Stone Company to check out part of the Indiana Limestone Symposium.

We went to the Symposium Open House, a chance to interact with the artists and to see limestone carving up close! The open houses are each Thursday from 1-4pm during the Symposium, so the last open house this year is this coming Thursday (June 26).

We met a whole bunch of awesome limestone carvers/artists. Laura Bybee was our tour guide and took us around to meet all these people and told us their stories. This was really awesome and made the whole thing much more meaningful than if we had just wandered around on our own (we had no idea what to expect before we got there).

First we met Sharon Fullingim, who was working with Amy Brier on this beautiful piece for Eskenazi Hospital for the healing garden. It's meant for children to touch it (but don't touch it right now because the oils on your hands will mess it up). This was my favorite piece (although everybody was doing really neat things). It was really cool.

This guy (I don't remember his name, sorry!) was working on one of his first pieces, which he first did in wood.

He told us it is a man's arm grasping a woman's leg. He joked that it looked a lot like the table leg from A Christmas Story :)

I can't remember her name either, but she was doing a cool intertwining piece as part of a series. She made the first one here last year and showed us a photo (that's why her phone is out!). She was cutting into the stone and making lots of dust :)

This guy did an awesome carving, complete with defined teeth of this screaming face.

We also saw a bunch of smaller works on progress under another tent (no one was working on these though). I liked the three below the best.

We also learned that you can come learn how to carve limestone. For $50 a day, you get a block of limestone and use of the carving tools to go to town. This is really tempting (I used to do a lot of art!) and I will need to keep it in mind for next year! (There are also sessions offered for just kids, too.)

If you get a chance to check this out, it is well worth it! Drive to Bybee Stone Company, but instead of going through the gate, go off to the right toward Cook. There will be a parking lot on your left and then you can walk across the street to the Symposium. We were encouraged to come back each week to see the development of the pieces. (I do wish the open house was at a slightly different time, like over lunch or if it extended to after the work day.) I plan to check it out again next year too.
Bloomington, IN: Indiana Limestone Symposium Open House Bloomington, IN: Indiana Limestone Symposium Open House Reviewed by Maria on 10:00:00 AM Rating: 5

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