"Tippecanus Rex" and "Urban Legends" are a joint project supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts
April 1 through May 10, 2009
Tippecanoe Arts Federation
A community-wide celebration of the (un)natural history of Tippecanoe County presented at the
Residents of all 14 counties in the Indiana Region 4 Arts Partnership were invited to submit entries of visual, performing, musical, and literary art that addressed the invented natural history of the Tippecanoe County region, through imaginative interpretation and fantastic fabrication.
The project was meant to be whimsical and imaginative, teasing visitors with mythical beasts, imagined histories and fake statistics. It also emphasize the contributions and new creative works of artists, writers and performers in this area.
The exhibit featured (but certainly was not be limited to) these 3 examples of imagined and now “extinct” natural fauna:
the Wabash River Dolphin - trapped here when the glacial melt and inland waters receded, the Wabash River Dolphin was referred to as the river buffalo and its hide provided area Native Americans with waterproof mocassins and raingear...
the Wea Plains Pygmy Bison - long-rumored and eventually unearthed in the early twentieth century, great herds of the Wea Plains Pygmy Bison once thundered... well, let's say "trundled"... across the local landscape in vast numbers before being trapped in an apparent mud flow. Once thought to be lawn sculptures, many of their fossilized remains decayed on front porches throughout the region and are now lost...
and Tippecanus Rex - an evolutionary hybrid, this regional dinosaur appears to have been similar in shape to its much larger cousin, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, but had the unique feature of grass which grew upon its back. Unfortunately, this made the hapless Tippecanus Rex prey to both carnivores and herbivores - causing it to be literally grazed to death...
Images from the exhibit
Zachary Scott, "Tippecanus Rex," poster
Marc Hart, "Covenant of the Eclipse," handmade book, paper, hemp
Emily Cotner, Chelsea Williams, Dario Yacabalquiej, "Zombie Boy (The Pythian Home Haunting," video (still)
Kevin O'Brien, "Axl Armwrestling Lafayette," pen, prismacolor, acrylic on paper
Megan Conaway, Christina Giles, Heather Lightfoot (representing Purdue Latino Cultural Center), "Altar for the Aztec Farmers of West Lafayette," mixed media and organic materials
Video still from the premiere performance of "Lafadoon," featuring players from Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette - Beth Grimes, Brent Wick, and Cameron Johnston
Exhibition view with "A Short Biography of Ginger Wigglemann," literary and visual art installation, Shelley Lowenberg-DeBoer, and "Cabinet of Curiosities," containing the contributions of numerous individuals, compiled by Morgan Reitmeyer and Brigid Manning-Hamilton
"The People of the Tile," 3rd panel, multiple panel mosaic, tile and natural materials, The ConNIPtions - Beverly Shaw, Margy Deverall, Tom Gall, Dixie Pederson, Melissa Baldwin, Amanda Gordon, with guests Harry Brown, Deb Axness & Marlene, Craig Martin
Kathy Evans, "Goose Woman of the Celery Bog," video (still)
Warren Stavros, "Celery Bog-Man," acrylic on canvas