Indiana State University Newsroom

Mural project teams with downtown Children's Museum

March 7, 2012

The Gilbert Wilson Memorial Mural Project is partnering with Indiana State University's Energize Downtown initiative and the Terre Haute Children's Museum in announcing its newest venture.

The Children's Museum is the site for the project's third mural in Terre Haute, a 40-foot long project that is being installed in conjunction with a third-floor remodel of the museum. The mural and remodel will have the theme of the evolution of flight.

"The mural will have images of everything from airplanes to bees and even some flying mythical beasts," said Rachel Nickel, the museum's education coordinator.

David Erickson, a retired faculty member from ISU's art department, is the artist and supervisor for the project. He is working with ISU art students from Professor Nancy Nichols-Pethick's classes in advanced painting.
Brad Venable, interim chair of the department, said the project, "offers a wonderful opportunity for university art students to participate in a mural project. Not many programs have these kinds of opportunities for students to work on this scale."

The mural and remodel of the third floor is projected to be finished in April.
"We are so grateful for the community and businesses coming together to make a difference for the Children's Museum," said Nickel. "Like many museums, we could not be doing these projects without the funding and support from area organizations."

The Gilbert Wilson Memorial Mural Project was founded to honor local artist Gilbert Wilson's vision and passion for art, especially large-scale murals and to make an investment in public art in the Terre Haute community.
Venable said it is fitting that this organization is based at ISU, which is home to six of Wilson's works, including a recently restored mural in University Hall. Other murals sponsored by the organization are the south wall of the Terre Haute Girls and Boys Club by Jeff Zimmermann and the north wall of the Booker T. Washington Community Center by Tom Torluemke.

About Energize Downtown:
Energize Downtown is an initiative of the Indiana State University Strategic Plan - The Pathway to Success - and assists Downtown Terre Haute in realizing its full potential to be a great college town. Launched in 2009, program objectives include: retail recruitment and expansion, partnering with local arts organizations and developing downtown student housing. These activities are enhancing the campus environment for students, faculty and staff and are creating opportunities for economic development throughout the community.

Contact: Chris Pfaff, director, Business Engagement Center, Indiana State University, 812-237-2530 or