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.

Designs for Life

An art selection committee from Ivy Tech asked for proposals for local artists to help them furnish their new Ivy Hall. I conceived and proposed, a multimedia installation that could be completed by the 22 artist members of our Artists’ Own retail art coop.

So that the members of our coop could participate equally and in an organized format, I had each artists (myself included) illustrate a different relationship word or concept from design vocabulary. I selected the best 22 design vocabulary words, that could be positively applicable to both art & life. To ensure random assignment, I had the artists pull their words from a bag.

The purpose of the work was to offer the general student guidance and the possibility for life organization (i.e. balance, harmony, variety, movement, economy, focal point, proportion, etc.) in the same manner I give beginning design students the IDEA tools to organize their artworks.

My own design word to depict was ‘Integration’, done in acrylic paint on masonite, with a slightly raised metallic edge. I signed the plaque A.O for both Artists’ Own & Ann Ohnimus (my aka art name).

The design words & artists

  • BALANCE . . . . . . . Lorie Amick
  • BOUNDARY . . . . . . . Bobbie Vance
  • CLOSURE . . . . . . . Mary Burks
  • CONTINUITY . . . . . . . Sylvia Whitesides
  • DEPTH . . . . . . . Carol Morgan
  • DIRECTION . . . . . . . Michelle Woods
  • DOMINANCE . . . . . . . Caryl Rae Hancock
  • ECONOMY . . . . . . . Kathleen Kitch
  • FOCAL POINT . . . . . . . Vicky Bollock
  • GROUPING . . . . . . . Joanne Kuhn Titolo
  • HARMONY . . . . . . . Patty Herr
  • INTEGRATION . . . . . . . Linda Vanderkolk
  • INTEGRITY . . . . . . . Anita J. Krug
  • MOVEMENT . . . . . . .Linda LeMar
  • PATTERN . . . . . . . Cyndy Clauss
  • POSITIVE/NEGATIVE . . . . . . . Gail Johnston
  • PROGRESSION . . . . . . . Sharon Owens
  • PROPORTION . . . . . . . Sandy Daniel
  • PROXIMITY . . . . . . . Sandy Eismin
  • REPETITION . . . . . . . Janet Fox Elmore
  • RHYTHM . . . . . . . Darlene Mitchell
  • VARIETY . . . . . . . Lisa Walsh

This collaborative work by members of Artists’ Own, a cooperative of local artists, was designed to enrich and celebrate this community site. Regardless of the media or tools a designer uses when working with the elements (lines, shapes, colors, textures and values), the ultimate goal is to create a sense of oneness or unity. Though varying individually, a synergistic effect results when all are organized together. Each piece illustrates an important visual aspect in art. The aesthetic solutions we consider as artists are closely correlated to the complex life choices we all make. With the elements unique to your life, we hope our ideas inspire you to create your own successful design for life.

Via the plaque next to the piece at IVY TECH
  • Dimensions: Twenty three (22 artworks & 1 plaque) evenly spaced wall forms of 18” x 18” x 6”
  • Medium: Acrylic Plexiglas, metal, metallic lettering (and individual artworks in various media)
  • Year: 2001

Farm Family Objects’

I was a grad student during my first large public work. It was designed for a commission won in 1991 to commemorate the 145th continuing year of the Farmer’s Market location at 5th  & Main Street, in Lafayette, IN. My sculpture sketch was selected and funded by the Friends of the Downtown (by community donations raised), to help revive & beautify the downtown. A selection committee quote: “We saw apples and oranges, but went bananas!” The three life-sized figures represent a farm family (man, woman and child) presenting their goods at our historic Farmer’s Market. With Roy’s welding expertise, area-farm knowledge, barn space and a flatbed wagon to lay my palette of figurative parts out on, I was eventually able to hold each piece perfectly in place for him to weld. For this design, I especially sought to create a public artwork that would be appreciated by farmers in appreciation of them, as well as my community-at-large. The sculpture’s double-entendre title sought to bring our community and nation’s slow demise of family farms to the forefront of our community’s consciousness. My own great grandparents first settled here as a farming family. Providing an educational source (when parts recognized from earlier times are identified or start stories by old-timers to a younger generation) can often be overheard at the sculpture, as I had hoped would be the case.  This sculpture has become a community favorite, often being dressed, holding signs, or decorated for various holidays (by unknown others or me). When new, I’d designed the sculpture with many hidden (but still movable) parts, a pun or two (‘green thumb’ gardening claw), and a healthful community warning (Shields are for Your Protection: Keep Them in Place) appropriately doing double-duty as the child’s shorts. Since this sculpture’s installation, the Farmer’s Market has continued to grow stronger and is flouring today.

– Indiana’s oldest farmer’s market – – in continuous operation since 1839 at the same location in downtown Lafayette.
– I knew Roy from country dancing in 70-80’s. By 90’s he’d welded small animals from 4-5 found objects. Has now retired to Charles St., Laf.
– To interested viewers, I sometimes share the little-known secret that ‘art lovers can make the child’s head turn’ when they pass by.

A story, with photo (by……) of Roy and I appeared in the Lafayette Leader while we were working on it won a photography prize. (date …?)
– Someone anonymously mailed me a clipping of a photo & blurb of my sculpture in the National Enquirer (undated, year …..?).
– Photo below by Dave Umbarger of how it looked in the early years, with pavers I placed to encourage movement & sound interactions with it.
– Changes: Street islands remodeled, trees & lights added, sign moved; In 2016, encroaching trees cut back & new lights, words in crosswalk. A few things have been bent (flowers), broken (‘Wheat’ & ‘Oat’ pockets), rusted crookedly (pie), or fallen off (horseshoe pocket on rump), etc.
– Personal references included: Roy’s beard; my bun. A photo by my sister Kathy shows Roy and I installing the sign (to not block sculptures).
– Listed on Wikipedia (was part of a national census to identify public sculptures in America)

RoadsideAmerica tip for Farm Family Sculpture: