One of Jackson County’s five Bison-tennial bison, sporting a new coat of paint, found its way to Brownstown on June 26 for Columbus City Band’s annual patriotic concert on the courthouse lawn.
The 5-foot-tall fiberglass bison was painted to feature some of the county’s top tourist attractions, including the Medora Covered Bridge, a round barn, the firetower at Jackson-Washington State Forest and the courthouse, along with the state seal.
Although Brownstown Elementary School art teacher Robb Reynolds painted the bison, the inspiration for the work came from some of his students.
“My fourth-grade class came up with the ideas to put on it,” he said. “I did sort of the interpretation and put their ideas into it.”
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Reynolds said the students talked about the importance of each of the items they wanted to see on the bison.
“The fourth-grade teachers do a really good job of teaching Indiana history,” Reynolds said. “It made it real easy for me to bring it together and say, ‘OK guys, what are we wanting to put on this bison?’”
Reynolds said he spent “every hour of every day” for one week painting the bison.
“It’s a hundred hours of work at least,” he said.
That bison is not the first to be painted.
The bison are a part of a statewide project to celebrate Indiana’s rich and diverse history and unique features as part of this year’s bicentennial celebrations around the state.
Jackson County’s bison are going to have a busy summer and fall, spending time at festivals and at the county fair’s seven-day run, which begins July 24. They will participate in a countywide bicentennial celebration planned for this fall at Freeman Field in Seymour.
The bison also will be located along the route of the state Bicentennial Torch Relay, which begins Sept. 9 in Corydon and ends Oct. 15 at the State- house in Indianapolis.
Once the celebrations wind down after Statehood Day on Dec. 11, the five bison will find more permanent, secure homes in the county.
The one Reynolds painted will retire to the courthouse.
Others likely will find permanent homes along Indiana’s Historic Pathway (U.S. 50) or near it.
The Indiana Bison-tennial Public Art Project is a partnership with the Indiana Bicentennial Commission and the Indiana Association of United Ways.