UPDATE: This free temporary sculpture exhibit ended on October 22, 2017. However, the beautiful quilt gardens and wall murals are permanent exhibits.
Our family made the two-hour drive down to Indiana a couple weeks ago to check out Indiana’s Heritage Trail which is featuring an amazing public art exhibit called Epic Art Adventures. This temporary art exhibit features over 50 sculptures by the talented Seward Johnson. The life-size realistic bronze sculptures are a great addition to the lovely quilt gardens and wall murals that can always be found along the Heritage Trail. The Heritage Trail’s Epic Art Adventure is fun for the entire family (especially because goofy pictures and selfies are highly encouraged), and I have compiled all the information you will need for this fun family adventure including our free printable Epic Art Route Guide by Minivan Adventures.
The Epic Art Adventure is fun for the entire family… especially because goofy pictures and selfies are encouraged.
The Heritage Trail is a driving route that takes you through Indiana’s quaint downtown areas of Elkhart, Wakarusa, Nappanee, Goshen, Middlebury, and Bristol. The trail is dotted with beautiful quilt gardens, hand painted murals, and lovely country scenery. In celebration of the Quilt Gardens’ 10th anniversary, they have added a temporary art exhibition of Seward Johnson sculptures throughout the area.
Over 50 life-size bronze sculptures and one monumental-size sculpture has been added to the Heritage Trail. These bronze sculptures by Seward Johnson depict people in heartwarming everyday moments, such as playing fetch with a dog, snapping pictures, returning home from the armed forces, shopping, washing windows, eating ice cream, reading the newspaper, and more. In fact, Johnson’s sculptures are so life-like that we often mistook real people for his artwork.
The American Artist, Seward Johnson, is widely known throughout the world. His art is prominently featured in New York, Chicago, Paris, Rome, Hong Kong, and more. Some of the sculptures along the Heritage Trail depict people engaged in everyday activities, some of them depict scenes from popular paintings by the likes of Renoir or Grant Wood, and others bring popular icons like Marilyn Monroe to life.
Interested in learning more about this talented artist and his work? You can read more about him on his website.
Guides and Other Helpful Resources
The folks from the Heritage Trail has done a fantastic job of compiling helpful materials. They offer almost everything you will need to make your Epic Art Adventure truly – well – epic. The only thing that we found missing from these materials was a convenient route to follow so that you don’t miss any of the sculptures. Thus, with a little research and the help of Google Maps, Minivan Adventures has devised a route guide to help with that aspect.
- Minivan Adventures Epic Art Route Guide – We created this helpful route guide so that you won’t miss a single sculpture. This route guide is meant to be used in conjunction with the official Epic Art Adventure brochure guide mentioned below. We did our best to include the quilt gardens and murals in this guide as well. Print our free printable Epic Art Route Guide by Minivan Adventures (PDF).
- Epic Art Adventures Brochure Guide – This official guide provides pictures, titles and street addresses for each sculpture. You can print it online here (PDF) or pick up a free copy of it at the Elkhart Visitor Center.
- Official Heritage Trails Map – You may also find this map helpful as you drive through the countryside of Northern Indiana. This official map provided by the Heritage Trail shows quilt garden and mural locations. Unfortunately, it does not show sculpture locations for the temporary Epic Art exhibit. You can print this map here (PDF) or pick up a copy at the Visitor Center.
- Epic Art Coloring Pages and Activity Sheets – If you are bringing small children with you (or if you just enjoy coloring yourself), be sure to print out a copy of the Epic Art Educational Booklet (PDF) available on the Epic Art Adventures website.
That’s everything you need to make your Epic Art Adventures truly – well – epic!
Silly pictures and selfies encouraged! The folks at the Heritage Trail want to see your pictures. Use #EpicArtAdventures and #QuiltGardens when you post your pictures on social media sites. Their brochures mention that pictures posted to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using these hashtags may qualify you for prizes. Visit www.EpicArtAdventures.com to learn more about that.
As an added bonus, Minivan Adventures may retweet your Epic Art pictures if you tag us (@minivanadv) in your Twitter posts.
The entire family enjoyed our Epic Art adventure. Children and adults alike are amazed at just how lifelike the sculptures are. And, posing for pictures and selfies make the experience extra fun. My teenager even told me “That was actually pretty fun, Mom.” Win!
That was actually pretty fun!
A few of our favorite sculptures included:
Yuck, Go Fetch – My five-year-old is obsessed with dogs. (She constantly tells us that she wants to be a puppy when she grows up.) So she was especially happy to discover this sculpture of a man receiving sloppy smooches from his canine pal.
Nice To See You – The children enjoyed this sculpture of a man washing a shop window. My teenage son hoisted his little sister up on his shoulders so that her height would match the sculpture’s height, and then, my little girl outstretched her arms to pose like she was also washing the window. It made for a really cute picture.
Relish, Too? – Everyone enjoyed posing as if they were ordering a snack from this sculpture of a hot dog vendor.
Captured – Is it any wonder that my favorite sculpture would is the woman sitting comfy on a bench absorbed in reading a book?
Time’s Up – The children enjoyed pretending like they were receiving tickets from this sculpture of a police officer.
Waiting to Cross – My two youngest children enjoyed hanging one-handedly from the stop sign just like the little girl in this whimsical sculpture.
Other favorites included Sidewalk Judge, Monet Our Visiting Artist, Out of Sight, and… oh, who am I kidding?!? We enjoyed them all. Each one was special, and our entire Epic Art Adventure experience was amazing.
What are you waiting for?
Don’t wait too long to start your Epic Art Adventure! This free temporary art exhibit ends October 20, 2017!
Looking for other fun family adventures? Check out our list of ten unique Michigan adventures.