bison by felix Maldonado

NWI Celebrates Indiana Bicentennial

Northwest Indiana Celebrates the Indiana Bicentennial with Bison-tennial Art Project and the Bicentennial Torch Relay. This legacy project will help celebrate Indiana’s 200th birthday by decorating and displaying 5-foot-tall fiberglass bison with an end goal of at least one – if not a herd – of bison on display in each of Indiana’s 92 counties. The bison were expected to be completed around Memorial Day of 2016, with appearances in the local community and along the Bicentennial Torch Relay Route. They’ll be highlighted along the Bicentennial Torch Relay route, which runs from Sept. 9 through Oct. 15, 2016. Then, Hoosiers across the state are encouraged to get involved in the project. route leading up to Indiana’s Bicentennial Statehood Day on December 11, 2016.
In Porter County there are eight bison to be painted.  Each of the eight bison, will be painted or adorned in different ways, and will be available for viewing later this year. The four new blank canvases were delivered to the following community partners: Valparaiso Community Schools, Pines Village Retirement Communities, Broken Wagon Bison Farm and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. They join Prompt Ambulance, Portage Township Schools, Indiana Dunes Tourism and Task Force Tips in hosting a bison. The Porter County herd is now tied with Noble County for largest herd in the state.
In LaPorte County artist Sierra Mullican of LaPorte was chosen to paint this area’s life-size statue of a bison. You can see it now at the Visit Michigan City LaPorte office in Marquette Mall. The bison will also be featured in parades and other events throughout the year. United Way of LaPorte County is excited to facilitate the “Bison-tennial” Public Art Project in partnership with the LaPorte County Bicentennial Committee. For more information on LaPorte County’s celebration of the state bicentennial, visit La Porte County Bicentennial 2016 on Facebook.
In Lake County “Flex” Maldonado was chosen as the artist to create Lake County’s bison for the State’s Bison-tennial project. Street artist, Felix Maldonado, the South Shore CVA and South Shore Arts was unveiled the Lake County bison on July 21st at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond. Its permanent home will be at the Indiana Welcome Center.
The Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay will be a 3,200 mile journey with nearly 2,000 torchbearers from each of Indiana’s 92 counties participating and begins in Corydon on September 9th and ends on October 15th in Indianapolis. The torch relay was patterned after the Olympic Torch Relay and is designed to connect Hoosiers across the state and nation with their home state during the bicentennial year. The torch will be primarily transported by people, passing the flame from torch bearer to torch bearer. The relay will also employ other modes of conveyance that are symbolic of the history and heritage of Indiana, including watercraft, farm equipment, a racecar, horse and wagon, antique automobile and others. The torchbearers are Hoosiers who demonstrated exceptional public service, excellence in their profession, acts of heroism or volunteer service to their neighborhood, community, region or state. The Porter County Torch bearers are named with descriptions on the PanoramaNOW website at
The Torch Relay will visit LaPorte County on October 8th from 2:30 – 7pm and Porter County on October 9th from 10am – 2pm and Lake County on October 9th  from 2:30 pm – 6:30pm. and October 11th from 10am – 11:30 am. The Lake County Route will have special events in Gary, Whiting, Highland, Hobart and Crown Point.  Look for more info on the Torch Relay parades in the next Panorama Magazine and the PanoramaNOW Website!
For more information about the Bison-tennial Public Art Project statewide, visit or follow #Bisontennial or #IndianaBisonArt on Twitter and Facebook.


Sue Baxter