Art Present

Art Present was a community art initiative I curated at the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette.

“Art Present: A Mosaic of Community Gifts”

Installation Mosaic by Guest Artist Linda Vanderkolk

For the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette’s Centennial Year

An Installation/Auction Exhibition January 23 – March 21, 2009

Shown here: A few of the 600 on display in the East Gallery

                           (Any & All Artists: New works may be added until March 1st)

All art presents have been generously donated by our fine community of artists to raise funds ($5 minimum) in honor of the Art Museum’s Centennial Celebration. They presently await YOUR silent bid before the closing on March 21, to be purchased.

Please come and see us!
Visit the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette
(102 S. 10th St. entrance) in Lafayette, IN

Ice Pie Spirals

A photo of the glass tile mosaic, before it was completed.

“Ice Pie Spirals” is a 8’ x 12’ public art mosaic inside Tippecanoe County’s Klondike Elementary School. After seeing my “Ice Pie” mosaic, I was selected to be Klondike’s artist-in-residence for their 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years. In a hall where students pass by daily on their way outdoors, a wall between windows overlooking a nature courtyard with a pond provided a perfect setting for another educational nature mosaic.  By providing endless hours of visual interest (playing ‘I spy …’) while waiting in lines, my environmentally-based mosaic could once again offer a fun access to nature enjoyment and awareness.

With the cooperation of retiring art teacher Lisa Ariano, I was able to engage the whole school community – a diverse population of students (900 kindergarten to fifth graders, during her art classes), teachers, and staff – in creating tesserae from recycled magazines. Searching and finding thousands of nature images and words, we then incorporated them via decoupage under tiny, small and medium round glass lenses. Everyone made one or more (including new 2015-16 students), while both Lisa and I made hundreds of others. We printed simple to complex nature vocabulary and used labeled images for educational purposes from old dictionaries and reference books to celebrate our natural world. Over many weekends and summer months, slowly but surely this ‘cool’ mosaic grew on the wall as I carefully crafted as many individual tesserae as possible into my design. I also created a second area for educational nature visuals, by painting NATURE in super graphics and using extra tesserae as the border around a nearby hall board. With the help of scout troops who meet at the school, educational information (from DNR materials, identification book pages, nature brochures, calendars or posters) can change monthly.

Endorsed as a Legacy Project by the Indiana Bicentennial Commission in 2016, I consulted area nature groups and experts to include over 200 important flora and fauna native to Indiana: mammals, amphibians, trees, fruit, reptiles, plants, fish, birds, insects, flowers, places, etc. Collaborative public art projects like these perfectly integrate my interests in community, art, education and environment. My hope is to inspire a new generation with environmental appreciation to perhaps help counteract the destructive climate changes of global warming on our planet’s ecosystems, for a more sustainable future for earth.          -Linda Vanderkolk

Lenaswa – The Bison

N. Ninth Street Bicentennial Bison –
Celebrating the Past, Looking to the Future

Artists: Linda Vanderkolk, Sunny Miller at their Bicentennial Bison unveiling, 9th & Main, Lafayette. May 5 2016. Photo by Charles Jenks

Artists Sunny Miller and Linda Vanderkolk’s, bison will be displayed on North 9th Street Road in front of Undercover Storage. Miller and Vanderkolk took a “native” approach for their theme and went with the Miami Tribe name Lenaswa meaning Bison. The Miami Tribe extended their cultural roots deep into the soil of the Wabash River Valley, hunting, cultivating, fishing, cooking, building, trading and sharing wisdom to sustain their communities.

via Indiana Bicentennial Tippecanoe County committee
The Bison-tennial Bison project was organized by Indiana Association of United Ways (IaUW), statewide, in partnership with the Indiana Bicentennial Commission. This officially endorsed legacy project celebrated Indiana’s rich and diverse history and unique features. The bison are 5-foot-tall by 8-foot-long fiberglass bison on 2-foot-bases and will be displayed throughout 2016, Indiana’s Bicentennial year. Many of the bison highlighted will be along the Bicentennial Torch Relay route, October 12, 2016, in Tippecanoe County.


Dog Days of Summer sculptures hit streets of Greater Lafayette
By Christy Jones, Purdue University News Service
Posted May 6, 2009

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Ranging from artistic to scientific, life-size decorated dog statues are popping up throughout the Greater Lafayette area as part of the Dog Days of Summer art project.

The project, which officially opens on Saturday (May 9), is a partnership between the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine and the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette. It highlights the 50th anniversary of the School of Veterinary Medicine and the 100th anniversary of the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette, both of which are being celebrated this year.

– via Lafayette-Online
Psychedogic – photo by Journal and Courier

  • My entry for Dog Days of Summer: Psychedogic
  • This piece was chosen by the Art Museum to be the raffle dog from all of the dogs entered.
The dog was generously loaned by the raffle winner, Susan Cray, for display in the museum exhibition.

Ice Pie

  • ‘Ice Pie’ is a 6’ tall by 14’ 4” wide mosaic.
  • It is affixed to a tile wall of the gymnasium foyer inside Cumberland Elementary School, West Lafayette, IN.
  • Special filters on the lights above help the colors not to fade.
A small percentage of the glass Tesserae I created with help from the students at Cumberland.
  • It is made up of thousands of tiny glass glob-all pieces, each with an image from nature adhered behind it so the image is visible through the clear glass piece. To our knowledge, this technique of incorporating images may not been tried before in a mosaic.
A close up photo of the date area before grouting the mosaic.
  • If you stand close to ‘Ice Pie’ you will see the image in each individual piece. You will see people, trees, flowers, animals, mountains, rain clouds, snow flakes, thousands of tiny images. Every image or word refers to the natural world that surrounds us. Taking a smaller piece of our beauty-full pie leaves enough for others.
The crossword I designed incorporating the school’s ‘good citizenship’ words with handmade porcelain letter tiles, went up first, and the glass tesserae went up around that.
  • Embedded within ‘Ice Pie’, on handmade ceramic tiles in a crossword layout, are Cumberland’s Life Skill words. Curiosity, integrity, pride, patience and friendship reflected some of our shared experiences with the students. Cooperation, organization, effort, perseverance, flexibility, problem-solving and sense of humor played important roles in our mosaic-making process. Caring, initiative, courage, common sense, responsibility, and resourcefulness are necessary values to teach for our planet to survive.
Nearly finished, without grout. All of the K-3 grade Cumberland Elementary School students helped to make the tesserae (found nature images under glass). (Artist included for scale.)
Close up of the mosaic before the grout was added.
  • From afar, ‘Ice Pie’s concentric elliptical rings may resemble the path of the planets orbiting the sun or the rings of Saturn. Some Cumberland students have observed that ‘Ice Pie’ looks like a giant eye, while others see a large icy pie in the sky or the earth surrounded by atmosphere and space. Some may see an overpopulated planet bursting under pressure, or rays of hope for our greener future.
  • It’s a fact that the issue of climate change needs to be addressed. What better place to start this conversation than in the minds of young students? ‘Ice Pie’ touches on this theme in a fun and interactive ‘I Spy’ way.
  • The idea behind ‘Ice Pie’ is to bring the proverbial “I,” not only the letter at the center of the design but literally you the viewer, together with your neighbors, your community, and the world beyond. It’s all about you and those around you seeing every small way you can help our environment even a little bit. Collectively we can have a greater impact on the world. Just as each Cumberland student made small glass pieces to help create this cool ‘Ice Pie’ artwork to be enjoyed by all, so might we save our planet by joining together in our efforts.
  • We hope to be invited to try it again elsewhere.
The finished mural


  • Hog Wild
  • 2003

This hog was one of several pigs on display for the public and community in the Hog Wild series and has found a permanent home welcoming visitors to the Art Museum.

Designed by Linda Vanderkolk, Grace O’Brien, Darlene M., Linda L., Gail D., Ann O.

Location: Art Museum of Greater Lafayette, 102 S. 10th St, Lafayette, IN 47901 [map]


  • Tiled and painted mosaic mural
  • Collaboration with Scott Frankenburger
  • For IVY Tech Lafayette Campus
close up of a section of the pattern.

What began as a mutual appreciation of the mathematical relationships found in geometric patterns became an unforgettable experience in cooperation. We were able to use the best of both hand and computer skills, merge paint and tile by combining Scott’s ceramic expertise with my visual design abilities, and create a complex piece that neither of us could have done alone.

The artist at work, painting the grey areas of the background.

Just as Ivy Tech challenges its students, Scott and I were challenged to create a work that would serve the community for many years, through visually pleasing elements and symbolic meaning and message. And as Ivy Tech is a place for transition and change in individual lives, our design kept evolving and improving as we worked. Because so much of this work was created on site, it became a public work in the truest sense of the term. (While the people of Ivy tech watched our work grow, Ivy Tech also grew on us.)

The unity achieved by the complex arrangement of lines, shapes, colors and textures reflects the unity of purpose by all involved with this school. Ivy Tech’s decision to use artwork to enhance architecture reiterates the importance of the goals, beliefs and attitudes connected to this institution. A project of this magnitude underlines the sense that this is an important community site, where the contributions of many are gathered to be shared. That this is a place of intellectual growth, educational discovery, verbal & visual stimulation, personal satisfaction and lifelong understanding. Hopefully we set a good example for future students of what can be achieved with determination and discipline, cooperation and creativity.