Artwork Transforms an Indiana Community

Thursday Sep 15th, 2022


By: Maddie Love

The City of Lebanon, Indiana, is in the midst of growth and change. With the help of a $1,500 Placemaking Grant from the National Association of REALTORS®, the MIBOR REALTOR® Association and the Heart of Lebanon Main Street organization used color as a catalyst for growth and change in areas of art, culture, and inclusivity in their community. Elements of color were injected into the downtown area through the celebration of the metamorphosis of a butterfly. Butterfly-themed art elements are on display throughout Downtown Lebanon until October 2022. These pops of color include temporary murals, larger-than-life butterflies, miscellaneous structures in pedestrian alleys turned into temporary caterpillars, colorful steel butterfly benches, butterfly sculptures, and lanterns that project a colony of colorful butterflies along buildings and sidewalks at night.

Window at a shop in Lebanon, Indiana featuring a yellow butterfly artwork

Photo courtesy of MIBOR REALTOR® Association

Well received by the community, the temporary placemaking project has not only helped the community see the transformation the city is undergoing and embrace the beauty of change but has also been a catalyst for more art downtown.

Red butterfly artwork at a square in Lebanon, Indiana

Photo courtesy of MIBOR REALTOR® Association

The Catalyst for Change project sparked the need for increased investment and discussion about including arts in the City of Lebanon. When the temporary placemaking project was put in place, many community members expressed feelings of pride and joy for the new assets in their downtown and only wished they could be a permanent fixture. This sense of pride and acknowledgment of how change can be beautiful was exactly the response all partner organizations had hoped to invoke in the community. The temporary project also spurred more conversations with the local economic development commission, as well as with city officials. These temporary art pieces helped them to acknowledge that further exploration of adding colorful murals and other assets to downtown will not hinder its historic value but add to it.

A plant vase featuring a green butterfly artwork with a purple mural in the background - Lebanon, Indiana.

Photo courtesy of MIBOR REALTOR® Association

The Catalyst for Change project celebrates what is on the horizon for the City of Lebanon while invoking a sense of pride in the local community.

Mural artwork in Lebanon, Indiana featuring a butterfly

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