Source: Courier and Press
EVANSVILLE, Ind. — A Big Red Bus made a stop in Evansville Sunday, marking the 200th anniversary of Indiana University and highlighting the school's contributions across its home state.
It was parked outside the Evansville Museum to coincide with the opening of a new exhibit at the museum, also part of IU's bicentennial celebrations.
The inside of the bus was lined with exhibits, many of them interactive, which tell the story of the school's 200 years.
They include a case of sports memorabilia, a virtual reality tour of the school's campuses and a touchscreen map which narrates contributions IU faculty have to a host of different academic fields.
A separate touchscreen measures the economic impact of the university on a county-by-county basis. (In case you were wondering, the university paid $1,628,203 in taxable wages to employees in Vanderburgh County in 2017, according to the exhibit.)
"I think it's tremendous," Geoff Hyatt said of the bus. "I think it really provides not only a service to other areas outside of the major campuses, but it helps inform everyone of what IU does to serve in the community, not only throughout Indiana but beyond."
Hyatt, a two-time IU almnus, grew up in Evansville but now lives in Denver. He was in town visiting family when he saw the bus and wanted to peek inside.
"Not only did I go to IU for two degrees, but both of my parents graduated from IU as did all of my siblings," he said. "We're big fans of Indiana University, big supporters."
"It really reinforces that IU permeates the community in so many ways outside of just traditional education so it's a reminder of the service that IU provides throughout the state," he said.
The museum’s new exhibit is New + Next, to mark the bicentennial and a major anniversary in the teaching of fine arts at IU. The first drawing class was held 125 years ago.
The exhibit features works from 36 faculty members at the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design.
"The faculty that are represented in the show come from all over the world," Peg Faimon, the art school's dean, said.
As the bus highlights the school's various contributions across the state, the exhibit highlights IU's contributions to the art world.
"(The professors) are coming to Indiana to practice and to teach," Faimon said. "On a daily basis...they're impacting students that are staying inside Indiana and also venturing out all over the world again."
"It's kind of a cycle, a wonderful cycle in that way," she added.
The exhibit will remain open for a couple months.
"It's immaculate to see that much contemporary art in our space because it's revolutionary for the people in Evansville, but also to see what IU has to offer, too," said Tory Schendel Cox, an art curator at the museum. "It's a great way to gauge what type of caliber of art they have at the university."
Schendel Cox, an IU alumna herself, was excited to see the exhibit and bus brought to the museum.
"It brings my heart a lot of joy because I truly believe in IU. I came there at 18, got an individualized major," she said. "I always wanted to be an art curator, and they truly fulfilled their promise."
The Evansville Museum will host New + Next until Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020. From there, the exhibit will move to the Grunwald Gallery of Art at IU's Bloomington campus, where it will be open from Jan. 17 through March 5.