Upcoming Limestone Events

Traditional Arts Indiana to highlight limestone craftspeople and their stories with events and exhibits throughout June


Scott Todd, a stone cutter at Architectural Stone Sales in Bedford, uses a pneumatic hammer and chisel to carve an ornamental relief panel. (Photo Credit: William Winchester Claytor, Traditional Arts Indiana)

Traditional Arts Indiana will join in regional celebrations of Indiana limestone with an exhibit and programming at several events throughout June.  Limestone Traditions: Stoneworking in South-Central Indiana, a traveling exhibit from Traditional Arts Indiana (TAI), will be on display at various locations in Lawrence, Owen, and Monroe counties in celebration of Limestone Month. The exhibit takes a cultural approach to the region’s building stone industry, featuring craftspeople, local quarries and mills, and the experiences and stories of career stone workers. The exhibit will open on June 1 at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, then travel to weekend events at McCormick’s Creek State Park in Spencer (June 15), Spring Mill State Park in Mitchell (June 22-23), and to Bedford’s town square (June 29). In addition to the exhibit, TAI has invited several stone craftspeople to demonstrate and discuss their work at the weekend events.

In October 2012, working with Indiana Parks and Reservoirs, TAI launched a research project exploring present-day Indiana limestone work in towns along the Salem Oolitic Limestone Belt. TAI researcher Joseph O’Connell interviewed people involved in the industry about everything from turning a stone baluster to running a fifth-generation family business. The exhibit features excerpts from these conversations with accompanying documentary photography. It presents a range of individuals involved in limestone work, including carvers, toolmakers, and other tradespeople.

“Very few people have the opportunity to have a job that’s also their passion–that they can make a living off of, and have the hands-on feeling of it, and can look back at the final product of it and see the steps that went into it, and know what you did—the small part that you played in completing the total job for the building,” Jim Matthews, sawyer at Bybee Stone Company, shared with O’Connell during one interview.

In partnership with Indiana University and the Indiana Arts Commission, Traditional Arts Indiana (TAI) researches, documents, and presents cultural traditions throughout the state of Indiana.  The exhibit is presented in partnership with Indiana Parks and Reservoirs and funded in part by the Indiana Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Matt Bruce, a stone cutter and carver at Architectural Stone Sales in Bedford, poses with one of his sculptures, a pair of working limestone scissors.
(Photo Credit: William Winchester Claytor, Traditional Arts Indiana)

High resolution photographs and captions are available for publication at: http://traditionalartsindiana.org/press/Limestone-2013/


Event information and details available at:




For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Joseph O’Connell at 502-553-2118 or josmocon@indiana.edu.


Exhibit events and details:

June 1–14: Mathers Museum of World Cultures (Bloomington)   Museum Open Tues.–Fri., 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sat. & Sun. 1–4:30 p.m.  (Free Admission)

June 14: “Southern Indiana Gravestones and their Makers”   Presentation by folklorist and TAI Director Jon Kay; Mathers Museum of World Cultures (Bloomington); Noon–1 p.m. Free

Saturday, June 15: Arts in the Park, McCormick’s Creek State Park (Spencer) 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Park Admission: $5 for in-state vehicles

Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23: Limestone Weekend, Spring Mill State Park (Mitchell)   11a.m.–4 p.m. (June 22); Noon–4 p.m. (June 23) Park Admission: $5 for in-state vehicle

Saturday, June 29: Barbecue at the Quarry and Stone Carving Exhibit, Bedford Town Square     10 a.m.–4 p.m. Free Admission



This entry was posted in Event, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Upcoming Limestone Events

  1. Pingback: Traditional Arts Indiana to host several public events celebrating the local tradition of limestone | Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) Region 8 News

  2. Jan Torbert says:

    The following program was presented in 2013. Will there be a repeat any time in 2014? My 3rd great grandfather’s gravestone in Owen County is carved limestone and so I am very interested in this traditional Indiana art form. “June 14: “Southern Indiana Gravestones and their Makers” Presentation by folklorist and TAI Director Jon Kay; Mathers Museum of World Cultures (Bloomington); Noon–1 p.m. Free”
    Thank you!

  3. admin says:

    Sorry I missed this. I am not giving it anytime soon. But here is a link to my talk from back then:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUvsl-GAn0A
    Who was an ancestor? Best,

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thank you, Jon! Here I am two years later and just saw your post. Thank you for letting me know about your talk on youtube. I am on my way there in a few minutes. My ancestor with the limestone grave marker is Reuben JORDAN, Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Owen County, IN.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.