Through natural artifacts and contemporary visual art, “State of Nature: Picturing Indiana Biodiversity” encourages an aesthetic appreciation of the natural world in Indiana. The exhibit debuted at IU’s Grunwald Gallery in Fall 2020 where it included samples and specimens related to Indiana’s prehistory from several Indiana University collections. Specimens chosen by the Indiana State Museum’s paleobiologists were also be featured. The artifacts were accompanied by scholarly, but accessible, information written with the assistance of state museum curators.
An IU Bicentennial Project, a number of programs, a full-color catalog, and various communications have accompanied the exhibit as it moved to the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis in 2021.
To promote a deeper understanding of the Indiana environment, Betsy Stiratt of the Grunwald Gallery of Art and Mark Ruschman of the Indiana State Museum selected artwork by Indiana artists or artists with connections to Indiana. The artwork is accompanied by artifacts selected by the Indiana State Museum’s Damon Lowe, creating an out-of-the-ordinary learning experience for visitors.