WINONA LAKE — The fourth and final planned art/sculpture installation along the north leg of the Heritage Trail (Greenway) in Winona Lake will be dedicated at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25. All members of the public are invited to the short ceremony, which will take place at the site of the sculpture, just south of Grace College’s Beta Hall.
The sculpture honors the wildlife and native Americans who occupied the south and east shores of Winona Lake (then named Eagle Lake) before the arrival of the first white settler, John Hamilton, in 1836. The sculpture was commissioned by the Fred Rowland family, created by artist Steve Perry and placed, along with an explanatory plaque and resting bench, by the Winona Lake Street Department.
First the Miamis, then the Potawatomis, were the Native Americans who occupied the southern and eastern shores of Winona Lake until being forcibly removed by the U.S. government in 1838. Treaties opened the way for the first white settlers and, eventually, for the Beyer Brothers to found a town in 1881.
The new sculpture was preceded by three others which have been conceived, commissioned and implemented by the Winona Art Commission, chaired by Winona Lake Town Council chair Rick Swaim. The three previous sculptures were installed and dedicated last year.
“Contemplative Seasons,” the first of the three, was dedicated in May of 2019. The sculpture, consisting of three ceramic columns, a decorative bench, and a concrete pad, is located on the Greenway extension just off Pierceton Road in Winona Lake, approximately behind Grace College’s Boyer dorm and was created by local artist Andy Tomasik.
The other two include a kinetic sculpture reminiscent of “The Winona Queen,” an excursion boat that plied the waters of Winona Lake for many years, and an eternal metal flame symbolizing the ministry of the town’s most famous resident, evangelist Billy Sunday. The Sunday piece is just off the Miller Athletic Field complex behind the softball field in Grace College’s Miller Athletic Field Complex. Fort Wayne sculptor Ben Solee is the artist for these two pieces.
Members of the Winona Art Commission include Rick Swaim (chair), Joy Lohse, Al Disbro, Amanda Banks, Martha Beeson, Retha Hicks and Terry White.