The Monon Railroad was once one of the staples of Indiana, linking towns and cities from Lake Michigan to the Ohio River. Most of the railway system has been abandoned or repurposed, but its history provides insight into Hoosier communities.
The Monon Railroad, once known as the “Hoosier Lifeline,” is one of the focuses of the Grunwald Gallery’s upcoming exhibition, “Hoosier Lifelines: Environmental and Social Change Along the Monon, 1847-2020.” Running from Feb. 9 to March 12, the exhibition will feature a collection of photographs and artifacts from three artists used to capture and explore the Monon’s history and contributions to Indiana.
The art featured in the gallery will consider the rise of the timber and limestone industries, shifting methods of energy production, how the development of the Monon did not equally benefit all and more. The exhibition is a collaboration between the Environmental Resilience Institute at IU and the Grunwald Gallery and was funded by the “Prepared for Environmental Change” grant.
The Environmental Resilience Institute was developed in 2017 as part of IU's Grand Challenges Program, an initiative that involves collaboration between researchers and community members of varying backgrounds in order to combat issues facing the public. In the case of the ERI, one of the major issues would be climate and environmental change are some of the major issues the institute seeks to address.
The exhibition will also reflect on human-induced changes that are responsible for Indiana’s changing climate in the current age, the Anthropocene, according to the Grunwald Gallery.