For two years, artist Timothy Greatbatch sat in Brown County State Park with every sight, capturing the light and the changing views with the seasons on his canvas.
He painted 18 views in the state park, such as the view from the top level of the north tower, Hesitation Point, and the view of the Strahl valley behind the Nature Center. This observation gave rise to 91 paintings. Each painting includes location, time of day, season, and a description of the wildlife and topography. Greatbatch worked with retired naturalist Jim Eagleman to document each painting.
There were five views that had official names, but the rest did not, so Greatbach offered them names based on their location and the general direction of each view.
Now, Greatbach’s exploration of Indiana’s largest state park will be on display for everyone at the Brown County Art Gallery’s Collectors Showcase starting next month. He will be the first living artist to appear in the showcase.
âThis is the first time that Collectors’ Showcase has focused on a living artist. But Timothy Greatbatch’s ambitious project and love of the subject builds on the legacy of the first art colony, âsaid Lyn Letsinger-Miller, president of the Brown County Art Gallery Foundation.
âThese artists were drawn to the natural beauty of this unique location in southern Indiana and chose it as their place to work and live. Tim made a similar choice in 2000 and has painted here ever since. The state park project is his true masterpiece.
This year’s exhibit will also feature an exhibit by curator Jim Ross titled “The Long View,” showcasing paintings from Brown County’s first colony of views that drew early artists here and continues to draw visitors each year. .
Artists include Theodore Clement Steele, Adolph Shulz, Dale Bessire, Hallie Prow, Wood Woolsey and many more from private collections.
The exhibition is sponsored by Sarah and John Lechleiter.
Greatbach grew up in Indianapolis, but visited State Park with his parents when he was 4.
âI was amazed at the views,â Greatbatch wrote in the Collectors Showcase Catalog.
“Growing up in Indy, there was no such thing.”
“As I developed the series, I tried to keep this childlike wonder in mind in the hope that my enthusiasm might somehow translate into the works in front of you.” , he continued.
The project began in the summer of 2019 when Greatbatch read letters from French impressionist Claude Monet about a series of paintings focusing on a single subject under different lighting effects. Inspired by this, Greatbatch decided to make his own series of panoramas in the state park, which was only two miles from his studio.
Greatbatch was a musical child prodigy who performed with the Indianapolis Symphony. He had artistic abilities, but preferred music to art. In Philadelphia, he worked as a classical music performer and recording artist. He was also a lecturer at the university.
At 40, Greatbatch returned to art. He studied paintings in museums and learned on his own. Tim and his wife Lisa decided they wanted to live in an artistic community and moved to Brown County in the early 2000s. She works as a physiotherapist in Columbus while Tim paints.
It won awards at the annual Indiana Heritage Arts Exhibition and Sale, developing a collector base.
Ross said the Greatbatch exhibit is a âmust seeâ.
âWith over 90 original and unique paintings, this exhibit must be one of the largest and most ambitious ever put together by an artist from Indiana. Certainly any Hoosier, and anyone who enjoys the Midwestern scenery, will appreciate the deep connection Mr. Greatbatch has forged with nature and Brown County State Park, âhe said.
âBy painting some of the same scenes at different times of the year and in different weather conditions, Greatbatch beautifully extends the tradition made famous by Claude Monet. Greatbatch has captured the beauty, variety, and moods of southern Indiana’s hilly landscape in all of its natural splendor, and this exhibit is not to be missed.
All paintings are framed and will be available for sale. Part of the profits will be donated to the foundation of the art gallery.
A VIP ceremony on October 1 will be the public’s first chance to view Greatbatch’s paintings. On October 2, all paintings will be on the gallery’s online store.
The month of October will be filled with various events highlighting the collectors’ showcase. Entrance to the gallery is free, except for special events. Each visitor will receive a souvenir catalog of 64 pages.
The exhibition will run until November 14.
The Brown County Art Gallery’s Collectors Showcase begins October 1 at 6 p.m. with a private VIP exhibit tour with artist Tim Greatbatch. Reservations are required and tickets are $ 25. Call 812-988-4609 to make reservations for the VIP tour.
The Collector’s Showcase 2021 will feature âBrown County State Park, Indiana’s Crown Jewel,â a two-year exploration of the park by Greatbatch. More than 90 paintings illustrate his journey by painting the park in all seasons and at all hours of the day. Greatbatch worked with retired naturalist Jim Eagleman to document each painting.
On October 2, the gallery will have special extended hours from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. to allow visitors to view the showcase. Entrance and parking are free.
From October 22-24, artists will have a painting in Brown County State Park. Paintings in the painting will go on sale at the art gallery at noon on October 24. This event is free to the public.
On October 31, Indiana University professor Jon Kay will tell the story of tourism in Brown County illustrated by historic postcards at 2 p.m. Entrance costs $ 5 at the door.
Visitors will receive a catalog and a map of the various painting places in Greatbach.
The gallery is located at 1 Artist Drive in Nashville. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday; from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
For more information visit www.browncountyartgallery.org.