TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Art Spaces has many great projects planned for the community in the near future, including the Lost Creek Settlement project which will be the newest addition to the Cultural Trail.

“According to the Indiana Historical Society, the Lost Creek Settlement is one of the most well-documented African American Settlements in Indiana. But a lot of people don’t really know about it,” explained Ally Midgley, executive director of Art Spaces. “So the whole objective of the piece is to bring awareness and to celebrate them. The descendants of the settlement, a lot of them still live and contribute in the area and it’s just a really important part of our shared history so we’re hoping to bring more light to that.”

Although the project is still in the early stages of planning, Midgely described the next steps in the process.

“We’ll fundraise, we’ll send out an RFQ (request for qualification), and we’ll do a national search for an artist. We’ll bring in 1-3 finalists and they’ll do site visits and meet with some community members and probably some members of Lost Creek Grove. They’ll have about 6 weeks to pitch an official proposal, our site and selection committee will meet and review that, and then, a finalist will be chosen and we’ll move forward with that design.”

The final design and size of the piece will be determined by the chosen artist, but the location is planned for Deming Park. As the intention is to raise awareness and educate people in the area, the project is looking to include an educational component.

“There are plans for resources for further educational opportunities that you can discover at the site that will hopefully push people towards other resources. It’s the intention that there will be more educational opportunities, more than just a blurb you’d see on a plaque,” Midgely said.

As there are many different projects on the horizon, timelines for fundraising events, concrete designs, and completion dates are still to be determined, but folks can expect to see progress in the near future.

“We’re hoping to have the project complete in the next year, that is the tentative goal. So we’re hoping to have the artist selected in the early months of next year.”

As for other projects in the works, Art Spaces is now working to add a piece to Herz-Rose Park and is also moving forward with the second phase of their Turn to the River project.

“Another project we’re working on is the second phase of Turn to the River, we completed and dedicated the 1st phase in May of 2022, and that is the revitalized plaza between city hall and the county courthouse. It’s the big fountain piece, and that is our 21st sculpture. Eventually, it will have an event space that can support infrastructure for farmer’s markets, art fairs, and food trucks,” Midgely explained. “So we’re working on starting the design development for that sometime in the near future and then to start funding for that. It’s a pretty big project that is part of a larger project called Turn to the River, which is also what the piece is called in the plaza, but its basically a multi-year, multi-phase project to reconnect Terre Haute’s downtown to the Wabash river. It’ll be great to get that connection back, cause it’s a really great resource.”

As Art Spaces aims to help reconnect the city to the Wabash, they are also involved with projects for other parts of the town by working with the city and other organizations to help bring Terre Haute’s residents more opportunities for community engagement.

“We just had an artist visit for a new project in Herz-Rose park. The city and an organization called Land Stewards Design Group, they’re working on revitalizing the park, and so we’re working with them to bring an artist in to do something alongside of that. I think it’s going to be something that is pretty community engaging. Basically, they come and they want to see the space and we meet and it gives them a good idea of what the community is and what we’re kind of looking for for a piece,” Midgely added.

Leading multiple community-centered projects within the area, Art Spaces continues to highlight the history and culture of Terre Haute. As plans are being finalized for the many, exciting, new efforts, with the Lost Creek Settlement project just around the corner, residents seem to be looking forward to the upcoming additions to Terre Haute.

“We’ve gotten really great support from it. It’s great to see the community really excited about it,” Midgely said.