GREENFIELD — Local artists were challenged to capture Hancock County’s most picturesque features for a new exhibit titled “The Beauty of Hancock County.”
Some of Greenfield’s best-known artists have work on display through Aug. 27 at the Twenty North Gallery, 20 N. State St.
Sandy Hall (acrylics), Cathleen Huffman (watercolors), Mark Leslie (photography), Nancy Leslie (photography), Beth Clary Schwier (oils), Deborah Smith (oils) and Joan Webb (photography) all have work in the show.
Water colorist Cathleen Huffman loved the idea of the exhibit.
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“It promotes the things we have here, and the artists’ renditions of them only highlight the beauty of our county,” she said.
Huffman’s watercolor painting shows an old iron bridge on the county line between Hancock and Rush counties. As president of the Hancock County branch of Indiana Landmarks, Huffman paints with a mission in mind: to record the architectural history of Hancock County.
“In the 1980s,” Huffman said, “Indiana Landmarks did a survey and documented 15 iron bridges in Hancock County. Now there are only two.”
Huffman’s mission includes a Bicentennial Legacy project — an endeavor meant to showcase the best of Indiana history during this year’s celebration of 200 years of statehood — she has been working on. Huffman is painting the remaining grain elevators in all 92 of Indiana’s counties. Thus far, she has more than 70 pieces and hopes to put together an exhibit in Hancock County soon.
Retired Greenfield Central Junior High School art teacher Sandy Hall also contributed to the exhibit. Her three pieces include an acrylic of the Kingen round barn at County Roads 600N and 600W. Her affinity for the beauty of Hancock County started in 1957 when she moved to Greenfield.
“It’s been my home since then,” Hall said.
Deborah Smith had so many Hancock County-themed paintings, it was hard to select one to display, she said. One of her submissions is a watercolor painting made from a photograph of a circus parade marching through downtown Greenfield, which she hopes to someday paint as an outdoor mural.
Nancy Leslie, president of the Hancock County Arts and Cultural Council, has several photographs in the show. She and her husband, Mark Leslie, were long involved in the now-defunct Mt. Comfort Air Show. As photographer for the show’s website over the years, Mark Leslie had special access to some of the historic planes, his wife said.
“He was especially partial to the old Warbirds, vintage military aircraft,” Nancy Leslie said, “He could catch a sunset reflecting off a shiny metal airplane that most people would not have the opportunity to shoot.”
Picking a favorite of the dozen or so pieces that Nancy Leslie submitted for the exhibit was impossible.
“That’s like asking which of your kids you like more,” she joked.
(But she is partial to a small photograph of the old air show storage barn, now torn down, that she took from the vantage point of inside the cornfield nearby.)
The theme of the show, The Beauty of Hancock County, was Nancy Leslie’s idea. Hancock County has extraordinary artists, and most of them paint what they see in their own backyards, she pointed out.
“Beauty isn’t something you need to go out and find elsewhere,” she said. “It’s right here.”
“The Beauty of Hancock County” exhibit runs through Aug. 27 at the Twenty North Gallery, 20 N. State St. Call 317-477-7664 for open hours.