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Nature Inspires is a mural located on the Salt Creek Trail, in Nashville Indiana. Completed on October 31st, 2023, made possible by generous contributions by the IDDC, Nashville Arts & Entertainment Commission, and the Brown County Community Foundation, with partnership with the Indiana Department of Transportation and the Brown County Parks & Rec. 

The Salt Creek Trail is such an asset to our community, however this particular area was in desperate need of some cleaning up. It has been an absolute honor to be able to bring some life into this neglected space. 


Only since I began painting down at the trail, did I start to realize how many people utilize the trail  as part of their everyday life. Every day I see visitors from the Brown County Inn, who use the trail to walk into town, seniors walking from the Willow Manor apartments, students walking after school, families with their children, runners, and bikers. To be able to put my work in such a predominant location, has been such a humbling privilege.


The location for the mural under highway 46, presented some challenges. It’s not a straight forward cinder block wall, typical of most murals, It’s broken up into large chunks of industrial supports.  I figured rather then battle with the layout, I should embrace the structure as part of the design. Given the location along Salt Creek, I thought the subject matter should reflect the location and should both beautify the space and educate the patrons of the trail. I developed a nature themed composition that reflects our native wildlife which you might discover while walking along the trail. 

Approaching the mural from CVS, you’ll see a large retaining wall featuring a stylized sunrise with a sun beam reaching across the first arch, with the lettering of Brown County under it. Flanking the first column is a Blue Herron centered by an orange midday sun. As you explore under the arches you will discover spring peepers hidden in the cattails, insects fluttering around tall grasses, and birds perched along tree branches. As you leave the trail, the same sunrise now becomes a sunset, and a Great Horned Owl is centered by a full moon on the east facing column. 


The mural explores themes of predator and prey within each vignette, set in three different landscapes each of which are found along the trail; a blue Herron and spring peepers in marsh land, swooping swallows and insects in a meadow, and a great horned owl and a field mouse along fence lined farm land.  I wanted these scenes to act as conversation starters for children who walk the trail with their families.

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Because of the condition of underpass, and how rough it was, I wanted my design to go in the complete opposite direction. I wanted the space to be bright, colorful, and cheerful. I hope that it has transformed the space from derelict and dingy to positive and inspiring.

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The response from the community has been overwhelming. People have such positive things to say, maybe because they remember what it looked like before. My hope is that it gives locals a sense of pride being from Brown County, and a reminder that we are lucky to live in such a beautiful location surrounded by nature and wildlife, which I think a lot of us take for granted. 

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