Southern Indiana Living

JAN-FEB 2018

Southern Indiana Living magazine is the exclusive publication of the region, offering readers a wide range of coverage on the people, places and events that make our area unlike any other. In SIL readers will find beautiful photography, encouraging s

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Jan/Feb 2018 • 42 Inspired Ste: The Sculptures of Larry Beisler Artists of Southern Indiana T he Harrison County Visitor Cen- ter, located on "the square" at the corner of Walnut and Elm streets in downtown Corydon, might be regarded as the front door to the town. Directly in front of this building an im- pressive 7-foot-by-14-foot bas-relief sculp- ture, carved in Indiana limestone, depicts William Henry Harrison and Jenny Smith standing under the Constitutional Elm. They are flanked by carvings of the Old Capitol Building and a log cabin. Two plaques beside the sculpture narrate the story of how Harrison came to name the town. The sculpture was carved by Harri- son County artist Larry Beisler and com- missioned by the Town ofCorydon in 2001 as part of its Millennium project. "I did a lot of research on the history behind this sculpture before I began," Beisler said. He explained that "Harrison often visited the Smith cabin — at the site of the present Harrison County Fairgrounds — where Jenny would play the song about the mythical shepherd boy, named Corydon, on her dulcimer. Because the area was so peaceful and serene, Harrison decided to name this fledgling community after this shepherd." A visit to Beisler's studio near Eliza- beth reveals another side of this sculptor's work. Here, in a remote area on the Ohio River amid 100 acres of forests and wild- life including bobcats and bald eagles, Beisler has lived and worked for over 20 years. The tools of his trade are here: raw stone and an array of chisels, hammers and files. His gallery showcases his fin- ished sculptures: over two dozen exqui- site abstract pieces, inspired by nature, carved mostly from alabaster and marble. Beisler enjoys talking about the properties of the stone he works with. The sculpture "Fleur de Lis" was "carved from Utah alabaster, which is known for its bands of color resembling the multicol- ored landscapes of Utah," he said. Anoth- er sculpture called "Archangel" is carved from Yule marble which, Beisler said, "is found only in the Yule Creek Valley in the Elk Mountains of Colorado near the town of Marble. Because this marble is 99.5 per- cent pure calcite, it has a clean white, al- Story and Photos by Judy Cato

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