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Artists Create Paint-By-Numbers Mural On Walls Of Bloomington Glass Center

glass center mockup

A mock-up of the mural before the event. (Courtesy of Bloomington Creative Glass Center)

Volunteer artists braved the heat and cicadas Saturday afternoon outside Bloomington’s Creative Glass Center making a large piece of art.

They were painting and putting together a 27-foot “paint by numbers” mural to hang on the center’s walls, near the northern entrance of Switchyard Park.

One of the artists is Chloe Dukes, who’s working on her masters of arts and arts administration at IU’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. She’s earning practicum hours at the glass center and headed up Saturday’s mural event.

“There's been a lot of moving parts because that's how you kind of bring the community together,” Dukes says. “We did a call for artists — students, local artists, all that good stuff — in the Bloomington area and surrounding outside areas as well.”

They ultimately settled on Carol Hedin, a local collage and stained-glass artist whose area of expertise matched the center’s vision.

“They all submitted their own portfolios. We kind of saw different — really great — different things from different people,” Dukes said.

“But I think Carol's style, of kind of resembling stained glass, really worked really well with the glass center. So, we selected her.”

The glass center’s founder, Abby Gitlitz, says the event reflects plans to return to normal as more and more people get vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Saturday’s project received some of its funding from COVID-19 relief money. It’s backed by the Bloomington Arts Commission and the Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association. Local businesses and individuals also contributed to the project.

“Once we're done painting all of the panels — and it's made out of seven individual panels — we’ll put them together,” Gitlitz explained.

“And we're going to put two panels on one side of our building, and then five panels on the other side of the building. When they're all put together, it'll make three pictures.”

The mural also marks the start of a series of events on the first Saturday of each month.

“This is a nice one. It's our first event and it's outside. So it's a good way for people to get used to being around each other again,” she said. 

Next month’s event hasn’t been announced yet — but Gitlitz thinks it’ll be loud.

“The next one is going to be July 3. And my goal is to blow things up. Because it is the day before the Fourth of July,” she says. 

This story has been updated. 

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