Bison-tennial Public Art Project





About the Project

In the spirit of Living United in celebration of Indiana’s bicentennial, the Indiana Association of United Ways developed a fun program to engage the community around the state symbol. Thanks to bicentennial celebration funding, Delaware County’s Bison arrived and the Public Art Project began. Throughout March and early April, the Muncie Arts & Culture Council received several applications from local artists who hoped to take part in this unique opportunity to celebrate Indiana’s history by decorating the Bison. Following thorough review of the applications, the Bison-tennial Public Art Project Committee and affiliates from the Muncie Arts & Culture Council selected artist Denise King’s Lenape Native American design.

Thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation of Muncie & Delaware County, Denise’s stipend was fully funded, which allowed her to complete her journey to decorate Delaware County’s Bison. The Bison was unveiled at United Way of Delaware County’s 2016 Campaign Kick-off Breakfast on September 1. Following the unveiling, the Bison was featured in the state-wide Torch Relay at the Fieldhouse, where roughly 1,000 fourth grade students from Delaware County were gathered for a convocation. Finally, the Bison was installed at Tuhey Park on the corner of Wheeling Avenue and White River Boulevard.


Bison Sightings at Day of Action 2016

The Delaware County Bison was displayed at the Horizon Convention Center during the 2016 Day of Action opening ceremony, where dedicated United Way volunteers and supporters were able to pose with the completed project.


Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay

During Indiana's Bicentennial Torch Relay, the Delaware County Bison was on display at the Muncie Fieldhouse, where fourth-grade students from area elementary schools assembled. There, the students learned about Denise King's Lenape-inspired design and were able to enter a contest to name the bison.


Reflecting on the bison's progress

The Baby 'Practice' Bison is painted. Now, Denise King will begin painting the #DelCoBison.

The Baby 'Practice' Bison is painted. Now, Denise King will begin painting the #DelCoBison.

Denise King has made significant progress on the #DelCoBison. She hopes to complete the Bison early this month. 

Denise King has made significant progress on the #DelCoBison. She hopes to complete the Bison early this month. 


Bison-tennial Public Art Project Partners

Bison-tennial Public Art Committee:

Nancy Carlson—Delaware County Bicentennial Activities Coordinator

Megan Arnold—United Way of Delaware County, Project Coordinator

Jenni Marsh—United Way of Delaware County,

Kelly Shrock—The Community Foundation of Muncie & Delaware County, President

Ann Johnson—Ball State University School of Art, Chair

Fred Meyer—Arts patron

Rick Zeigler—MACC

Public Art Committee:

Terry Whitt Bailey—City of Muncie Representative

Tony Costello—Architect

Lisa Dunaway—Ball State University Urban Planning

Arne Flaten—Ball State University School of Art, Chair

Kenton Hall—Ball State University School of Art, Sculptor

Ann Johnson—Artist, Chair of MPAC

Arron Kidder—City of Muncie Representative

Tom Kinghorn—Community Development

Darleen Lugenbuhl—Patron Performance Arts

Fred Meyer—Arts Patron

Sherri Contos—Muncie Arts and Culture Council, Director

Jon Moll—Legal

Terri Sanders—Intern

Made Possible by a Grant From:

Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County

Minnetrista’s Indiana Bicentennial Celebration Fund

In-kind Sponsors:

Joann McKinney and Jody Clevenger—Horizon Convention Center (display)

Brian Huffman—Stoops Collision (weather coating)

Linda Koger—Muncie Liquors (studio space)

Harvey Wright—Muncie Parks Department (logistics)

Duke Campbell—Muncie Street Department (logistics and installation)

Neil Gifford—IU Health (printing)

Karen Fisher—Artmart (studio open house refreshments)

Christie Horvath—Old West End Neighborhood Association (studio open house refreshments)

Heather Williams—Riverside-Normal Neighborhood Association (reception refreshments)

Bison Sightings:

Share your bison sightings using the hashtag #DelCoBison. Check our Facebook page often to see bison sightings in the community and baby bison photo bombs!