Outdoor Art

Appeal to the Great Spirit

The statue, owned by the City of Muncie, is a memorial to Edmund B. Ball. After his death in 1925, his family searched for a suitable memorial to him. They settled on a replica of the “Appeal to the Great Spirit” cast in bronze, and erected on a site just east of the Ball family homes on the north side of the White River in Muncie. The original sculpture was created by Cyrus Dallin in 1909 and is a Plains Indian. The statue and surrounding park were dedicated in 1929.

The statue does not depict Chief Munsee. There is no indication that there ever was a chief named Munsee. In addition, the statue depicts a Plains Indian. The Indians who lived in or near Muncie were Woodland Indians.

Read the blog hosted by Minnetrista, written by Karen Vincent (Director of Collections) “There Wasn’t a Chief Munsee. Really, There Wasn’t”.

Alice Nichols

Created by artist Tuck Langland commissioned by John Surovek to honor Alice Nichols, a former chair of the university’s art department. “She was as much a friend to me as she was a mentor. I can’t imagine how many other people she helped in the way she helped me.” Ball State University alumnus John Surovek.

ARF Mural

Painted by Brian Blair for the Muncie Animal Rescue Fund.

Awakening Potential

This 8 1/2 foot tall bronze sculpture was created in 2006 by Delaware County artist Kenneth G. Ryden. the sculpture features a young girl and boy standing on a stump with tree sprouts emerging from their hands. The sprouting tree symbolizes the awakening potential that lies within a young person. Kenneth G. Ryden is a professional sculptor who has created many public monuments for institutions and municipalities as well as custom bronzes for private collections. He maintains a studio at his Yorktown residence.


In its almost sixty years on campus, this bronze statue has become the symbol of Ball State University. It was the last commissioned work of renowned sculptor of his time Daniel Chester French (American 1850-1931), best known as the sculptor of the Abraham Lincoln statue in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The settings and columns for Beneficence were designed by prominent East Coast architect Richard Henry Dana.

The statue was commissioned by the Muncie Chamber of Commerce as a public monument to the generosity of the Ball brothers, each of whom is represented by one of the five Corinthian columns. The bronze statue was completed in 1930 and installed in 1937.

Bronze Baby

This sculpture, “Bronze Baby,” was originally on the site of the Frank C. Ball home. Margaret Ball Petty, daughter of Frank C. Ball, later owned the statue. It was created by Brenda Putnam in 1916. The sculpture is currently displayed, during warm weather, in the pool of the Children’s Garden at Minnetrista.


Catalyst was commissioned for Minnetrista by Virginia B. Ball to honor her husband, Edmund F. Ball. The design represents partnership, giving and stewardship which were important ideals of Mr. Ball. It was also intended to represent a century of giving by the Ball family, their stewardship of the land, and Minnetrista as a catalyst in the community. The sculpture was dedicated in June 2004. The artist is Beverly Stucker Precious of Indianapolis.

The completed sculpture is comprised of 32,000 pounds of limestone, 17,000 pounds of stainless steel and 2,000 pounds of dichroic and plate glass. Forty-four hundred hours went into the fabrication of steel for Catalyst, which is 26 feet in diameter.

Photo courtesy of Judy Austin.

Colonnade Columns

The Colonnade Columns are the focal point of the Colonnade Garden at Oakhurst. The Colonnade Garden was constructed in 1993 and 1994. These columns originally graced the porte-cochere (to the right of the front portico) and the small porch to the left of the front portico of the Frank C. Ball home, Minnetrista. The house was destroyed by fire in 1967.

Colonnade Gates

The wrought iron Colonnade Gates were commissioned by William and Agnes Ball for their Westwood home. The Colonnade Gates are located near the end of the Colonnade Garden at Oakhurst. The Colonnade Garden was constructed in 1993 and 1994. The gates were designed and fabricated by Polish-born iron master Samuel Yellin.

Courthouse Architecture

The three statues are from the Courthouse which stood at 100 W. Main St. which was built in 1885 and razed in 1966. The Indian or Indian and His Dog and the two women Agriculture and Industry were carved on the Courthouse Square under a tent while the courthouse was being built. The three statues were kept safe by the Delaware County Historical Society at the farm of Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. Stradling when the courthouse was razed in 1966. The three statues were later moved to the corner of Main and Walnut downtown.

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