Indiana Waterways

The Art of Conservation

See the works of five artists and their views of Indiana waterways in this exhibition of 60 paintings designed to call attention to the importance of protecting the state’s 62,000 miles of rivers, streams and tributaries in Indiana. The artists are Avon Waters (from Converse, working in pastels), John Kelty (Fort Wayne, watercolors), Curt Stanfield (Rosedale, oils) and brothers Dan and Tom Woodson (Muncie, oils); their subject matter is from all over Indiana.

This artwork can be found on the Thomas A. King Bridge Gallery. This experience is included with the purchase of museum admission.

October 16 through December 11, 2022

John Kelty standing in front of easel painting river

August 2020, the five painters – all members of the Indiana Plein Art Painters Association – got together for a barbecue after the organization canceled several outdoor painting events due to Covid. They initially decided they would all paint scenes from the top 20 largest Indiana rivers, but by October, they noticed that many of the paintings looked alike.

Pictured: John Kelty


They decided to open up their options to other locations, like the Seven Pillars near Peru along the Mississinewa River, two Raccoon Creeks (near Terre Haute and in Parke County), and a stone bridge on the Rapid Creek near Orleans in Ripley County.

Pictured: Avon Waters

Avon Waters
Indiana Waterways: the Art of Conservation

The end result is not only this traveling exhibit but also a 227-page hardbound book containing pictures of 100 paintings along with three essays on water conservation. The essays were written by Jason Goldsmith (creative non-fiction story on the White River), Carson Gerber (an essay on the history of the Izaak Walton League in Indiana and their conservation programs), and Jerry Sweeten (an essay on the 20-year-plus effort to restore the Eel River).

Indiana Waterways: The Art of Conservation will be available for purchase on Oct. 15. Reserve a copy of your book by clicking below.


“Conservation is our goal – using pretty pictures to make people aware of the underlying need for conservation and restoration of our waterways.”

  • Avon Waters
Image credit: Sunset Point, Curt Stanfield, oil