TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Art Spaces Executive Director Mary Kramer was honored with the Circle of Corydon award from the state of Indiana during a celebration of her career on Wednesday.

Kramer has been a driving force for nearly 18 years in the arts culture in Terre Haute. When she began as Executive Director, she said that the attitude towards art was far different than it is now.

“When we first started, people asked questions like, ‘Why public art’ and ‘Why do you want to put up public art,'” Kramer said. “I noticed that over the years it evolved to, ‘When is your next piece going up.'”

Kramer has played a role in much of the public art seen in Terre Haute; most recently the ‘Turn to the River’ project. This is one that Kramer admitted was a personal favorite of hers. She said that it’s special to have help turning Terre Haute into a hub for art.

“For a city of our size to have a public art collection like this is pretty rare,” Kramer said.

Art Spaces Treasurer Brian Dyer has worked very closely with Kramer over the years. He explained how humble Kramer is, and just how special it was to see her get recognition from the state.

“I think people who know Mary know she’s very humble,” Dyer said. “For us to be able to say thank you and honor her in this way is so nice.”

Dyer went on to say that Terre Haute may not be where it is now had it not been for the vision of Kramer. He said that she was a transformative force for the arts in the area.

“She really had a vision and an idea about working with the kinds of art that would transform Terre Haute into a place that people would want to be,” Dyer stated.

Although Kramer is transitioning out of the Executive Director role, she will still have a part-time role with Art Spaces.