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November 2019 News

Press Release - Plein Air Contest at HPI

Decatur, Indiana


The worlds of industry and the arts are seldom thought to have much in common.  And yet, on November 15, these two disparate worlds did indeed come together with an outcome far better than either group could have predicted.


Hoosier Pattern’s owner, Keith Gerber, came up with the idea of an Indoor Plein Air painting contest in which the artists would depict scenes from within his manufacturing plant, a building he and his 50 employees had occupied since 1997.  Artists were guaranteed the purchase of one artwork each.


With the assistance of local art event organizers, and Avon Waters, President of the Indiana Plein Air Painters Association, (IPAPA).  15 artists were invited to participate.


The artists came from as far away as Terre Haute and Springfield, OH.  They arrived fully prepared to work.  After a tour of the facility, and a brief explanation of Hoosier Pattern’s operations, sites were selected, easels were set up throughout the building (out of the way of forklifts and employees) and the artists got to work.  Many different types of mediums were used:  watercolor, oil, pastels, and acrylics.  With the exception of a brief break for lunch and a gathering for a group photo, the artists worked from 10:00 until 2:00.   



HPI employees voted on their three favorite works.  Many commented that it was difficult to choose only three because they were all so good.


Artists who participated were:

Sandy Hall, Greenfield, IN – FIRST PLACE

Lynne Dunnavant, Rosedale, IN – SECOND PLACE

Shelby Nower, Decatur, IN – THIRD PLACE

Avon Waters, Converse, IN

Diana Fair, Fort Wayne, IN

Tiffany Mendez, Decatur, IN

Curt Stanfield, Rosedale, IN

Darlene Vassil, Decatur, IN

Tim Swagerle, Peru, IN

John Kelty, Fort Wayne, IN

Robine Wright, Springfield, OH

Greg Mendez,  Decatur, IN

Rebecca Justice. Schaab – Auburn, IN

Christel Gutelius, Mecca, IN

Terry Pulley, Wabash, IN


Prizes amounts awarded were: 

1st Place - $750.00

2nd Place - $625.00

3rd Place - $500.00


HPI’s owner, Keith Gerber remarked that this event was clearly a win/win for both his company and the artists.  Hoosier Pattern will frame and proudly display the art in their front offices and reception area.  The artists were given the opportunity to paint an interior industrial setting instead of outside landscapes.  This was a first for them.  They also were able to paint indoors during November’s chilly temperatures.

*not all pieces of art are pictured

Keith hopes that by sharing news of this very successful event, other manufacturers and businesses might consider sponsoring similar events or would consider ways their companies might support the arts.  Both the artists and Hoosier Pattern employees thoroughly enjoyed this experience.  Should you have any questions about this particular event or if your company is interested in sponsoring a similar event, feel free to contact Laurie Mrvos, Human Resources at Hoosier Pattern:

HPI to host Plein Air Contest


Although Hoosier Pattern typically stays within the manufacturing lane serving a variety of industries across the board within the manufacturing realm, we think it is important to get involved with other industries to expand our knowledge and grow our minds. Hoosier Pattern is proud to announce that we are hosting a “Plein Air” Painting Contest on Friday, November 15th with the Indiana Plein Air Painters Association. Plein Air is in air quotes because typically Plein Air means an artist leaving the four walls of their studio and experiencing painting and drawing in the landscape. Since it’s cold out, we are bringing these artists inside the walls of HPI and having them set up their easels, break out their medium of choice and sit within the shop to paint whatever scene they see.

This is the first event of this kind at Hoosier and we were a little nervous about the turnout or if artists would even be interested in painting a “manufacturing” type scene. We set 10-12 artists as a nice goal and were elated when 16 artists signed up to participate and bring their talents to Hoosier. Artists will have the opportunity to take a tour of our facility, extract some 3D printed sand molds from the 3D sand printer, watch those molds be poured with our small on-site foundry and then pick the area of the shop they would like to paint. This contest was open to all artists and media so there will be paintings that range from oil, acrylic, watercolor, colored pencil, pastels or charcoal.

Each artist is guaranteed to have a painting bought by Hoosier Pattern and these paintings will be hung in our newly remodeled lobby for all visitors to see when they walk in the doors of HPI. In addition, there will be a first, second and third place prize given out after Hoosier Pattern employees vote on their favorites.

Keep an eye out on the blog as we will be posting the finished projects for the community to see and appreciate. We are very excited for this event and look forward to seeing what these artists create and come up with.

To learn more about the Indiana Plein Air Painters Association visit their website here: or their Facebook page here:

As the owner of Hoosier Pattern, I/we are excited to open our doors to artists, so through your eyes, you can capture the different areas of the business footprint. We hope that this day is as rewarding to you as we are sure it will be for years to come being able to showcase your talents in our front lobby common area. We look forward to employee-wide to judge your talents soon after this event. Good Luck to each of your participating.” – Keith Gerber, Owner of Hoosier Pattern

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