Saturday, January 30, 2010

In the Gallery -- February 2010

North Montgomery Community School Corporation's Bratton Initiative Art Exhibit

In the fall of 2006, the North Montgomery School Corporation embarked on a voyage to initiate new reforms to enhance its regular curriculum. Fifteen bold new reform initiatives were chosen and named for William E. Bratton, a member of the famed Lewis and Clark Corporation of Discovery expedition of the Louisiana Purchase. William E. Bratton, a private in the U.S. Army, acted as a scout and military escort for the expedition and while on the trail, overcome a severe illness using nothing but his own resourcefulness. Later in life William E. Bratton settled in Waynetown, Indiana and became Montgomery County's first official Superintendent of Schools. One of the fifteen chosen Bratton Initiatives asks North Montgomery Community School Corporation Art Teachers to secure a venue to exhibit the art work created by corporation students under their tutelage. The intent of the exhibit is to provide a public venue for students to display their work and by so doing inspire them to continue creating art and to perhaps eventually seek their own display venues. This year the Mary Bishop Memorial Art Gallery at the Crawfordsville Public Library will host North Montgomery School Corporation's Student Art Exhibit from Friday, January 29 until Friday, February 19, 2010. Art Students from Kindergarten through Grade 12 may participate in this non-juried exhibit meant for the entertainment of all Montgomery County residents. Visual Art teachers, who prepared the students and their work for display include: Kim Goebel -- Sugar Creek Elementary; Lisa Cosby -- Pleasant Hill Elementary; Mary Lou Dawald -- Sommer Elementary; Cassie Timmons -- Northridge Middle School; and Mike Strickler and J.D. Minch -- North Montgomery High School.

Noteworthy Birthday: Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (born January 30, 1882 in Hyde Park, NY, died April 12, 1945 in Warm Springs, GA) was the 32nd President of the United States. Elected to four terms in office, Roosevelt led the country from 1933 until his death in 1945. In the 1930s, Roosevelt initiated the New Deal, a package of economic programs which stressed Relief, Reform, and Recovery following the Great Depression. After Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941, Roosevelt led the United States through World War II and saw economic recovery in the country. Roosevelt died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 63.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New Stephen Crane Display

A new display on the second floor of the library honors the life of Crawfordsville native Joseph Stephen Crane. A visual representation of Crane's life, the display features high school and college yearbooks, 1937 Wabash College items, memorabilia from Crane's famous restaurants and films and much more.

We are still collecting information and material on Joe Stephen Crane! If you have anything to offer, please contact Emily in the Reference Department at the Crawfordsville District Public Library.
Phone: 362-2242/Email:

Don't know who Stephen Crane was?

Joseph Stephen Crane was born in Crawfordsville, Indiana, on February 7, 1916 to Mr. And Mrs. William E. Crane. The Crane family lived at 205 West Pike Street and owned the Stephenson Crane Cigar Store on 107 S. Washington from the 1920s through the 1940s. Stephen Crane, who preferred to be called Joe in his youth, was voted Most Attractive his senior year at Crawfordsville High School and was active in drama and debates. He attended and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Business from Wabash College in 1937. At Wabash, Crane was a stage manager for the Scarlet Masque as well as an active member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.

A few years after graduation, Stephen Crane moved to California and gained fame after marrying glamorous movie star Lana Turner in 1942. An infamous annulment and remarriage to Turner caused Crane's name to appear in newspapers with frequency. An attempt at a film career ended after three movies, but the Oscar-nominated Tonight and Every Night featured Crane alongside screen goddess Rita Hayworth. While many recall that Crane was the father of Turner's only child, Cheryl, and locals fondly remember the week Lana Turner stayed in Crawfordsville to tour her husband’s hometown, much has been forgotten about Crane's life after his marriage to Lana Turner.

Stephen Crane successfully transformed himself into a charming host and well-regarded owner of The Luau, Kon-Tiki, and Ports o' Call restaurants in the early 1950s. Patronized by celebrities, the Luau became the hotspot of 1950s and 60s nightlife. Crane owned and operated all of his restaurants through his company, Stephen Crane Associates. He was known for his whimsical approach to the Polynesian restaurant theme and his close eye to detail in his designs.

A small town boy who cultivated himself into a respected restaurateur,

Stephen Crane died on February 6, 1985 in Pauma Valley, California. Per his wishes, he was buried alongside his parents in Oak Hill Cemetery in Crawfordsville.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

In the Gallery: January 2010

In the Gallery

INSPIRED FIRE: Glass Creations by Sharon Owens

Sharon is an artist who combines the vivid color of the tropics, depth and translucency of molten glass into artwork that sings with enthusiasm. The details crafted through the gentle techniques of flameworking glass over a torch or a combination of flamework and molten furnace glass, give the resulting pieces an unparalleled beauty of murrini, latticino cane and layers of dichroic glass. It is difficult to say which gave her the most undying inspiration - the childhood trip to the glass furnaces of West Virginia, the extra drawing and painting studies since third grade, the BA in Fine Arts from Indiana University, or the fortunate studies with American and Italian glass masters – and all which have contributed to Sharon's long love affair of dancing with fire.


Karen Patton is a retired public school teacher from Montgomery County. She has been working as a professional artist for about ten years. She has taken many studio classes at the Lafayette Art Museum and the Morton Center with teachers: Jeff Klinker, Lori Amick, James Werner, and Rena Brower.

Patton has been Artist-in-Residence at the Lew Wallace Study several times and exhibits in Lafayette, Frankfort, Sugar Creek Art Center, Art Museum of Greater Lafayette and Crawfordsville. She has had several solo exhibits in Crawfordsville and Lafayette, and has been in several juried shows including the Grand Wabash, Crawfordsville Fall Exhibit, and Columbian Park Zoo Show.

Karen is a member of Indiana Plein Air Painters, Wabash Artist Alliance, and the Art League of Montgomery County. She is the current co-president of the Art League. She enjoys doing landscapes, still lifes, and portraits. Patton usually works in watercolor and oil and enjoys learning new techniques and experimenting with new media. She and her husband enjoy traveling and taking photos of places around the world which often inspire new paintings.