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Art will be blowing in the wind in Evansville

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GINA R. HEINE
August 3, 2009
— Old film slides are mostly obsolete, but a group of artists found a use for them in decorating an 8-foot steel windmill.

Slides of art objects and slide frames soon will flutter in the wind from the multicolored, encaustic-painted windmill outside of Integrated Art Group, 13 W. Main St.


The artists from the business—owner Margaret LeMay, Liese Pfeifer and former employee Gwen Avant—all brought their touches to the group's contribution to "Windmills on Parade."


"What we wanted to do was incorporate some of our tools of the trade," LeMay said.


Seventeen windmills will begin popping up on Main Street downtown this month to attract onlookers before the art pieces are auctioned at the Windmill Harvest Festival downtown Oct. 2-4.


Public art displays in area cities have become increasingly popular, and Evansville organizers hope Windmills on Parade attracts people from all around.


"Art speaks to many in various ways. It's just plain fun to see the creative spirit on display," said Jean Wyse, chair of Windmills on Parade. "Our goal is to promote the arts, and in return, to attract more visitors to our community."


Artists from the Evansville area and region were allowed to use any techniques and materials and attach items to the steel.


The artists will receive 50 percent of the auction price, while the other half will go toward the fall festival.


Wyse said the number of artists exceeded her expectations, and she hopes to double the count next summer.


Dave's Ace Hardware provided the windmills at cost.


Here's a taste of the artists and their windmills:


-- Evan Benedict of Evansville: The 14-year-old welder repurposed metal pieces from farm equipment, barbed wire and other found objects, welding his creations onto the windmill's structure.


Benedict calls it his "Garden Art," Wyse said. He's been in 4-H for four years and has participated in drawing and painting projects. He also designed a Web site about wind in his middle school class.


-- Eric Page of Kid's Kustom Work in Evansville: Page's 10 years of experience in painting autos, motorcycles and other items shows in his completed windmill. He paints "anything that will take paint," Wyse said.


He specializes in airbrushing, stenciling and custom work, and the attached panels on his windmill offer such designs, along with orange blades.


-- Cherie Greek of Appleton: Greek visited Evansville, taking pictures, asking questions of locals and researching the city online. She turned her windmill into a taste of the city, with paintings of historic homes and buildings and touches of history, including the city's circus, agriculture and windmill history and Lake Leota.


"She's touched on almost every area you can touch on in Evansville," Wyse said.


Rainbow-colored blades create a brilliant spiral in the wind.



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