Kokomo Opalescent Glass art installation honors state’s history of higher education
KOKOMO, Ind. — A group of Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region leaders and supporters gathered Monday to formally dedicate an installation of artwork featuring Kokomo Opalescent Glass as an official Indiana Bicentennial Legacy Project.
The project was approved by the Indiana Bicentennial Commission as an official “legacy project” late last year, part of the commission’s effort to “Celebrate history – Ignite the Future” as the state of Indiana observed its 200th anniversary.
Eight ornate art glass windows and a hanging “sculpture” of blown glass balls representing Ivy Tech’s 14 regions were created by the artists of Kokomo Opalescent Glass to decorate the main foyer of Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Region main building on the campus at 1815 E. Morgan St. KOG, the oldest manufacturing concern in Kokomo, has been manufacturing colored glass for art and architecture with worldwide distribution for more than 125 years.
At the dedication ceremony Monday, Ivy Tech Kokomo Campus President Michelle Simmons said the piece will stand as a reminder to everyone who enters the campus that the State of Indiana has a proud history of higher education and will continue to cherish education through art and entrepreneurship.
She was joined in the dedication by David Bathe, chancellor of Ivy Tech’s Kokomo and Lafayette Region, who talked about the historical ordinances that provided for public higher education when Indiana was designated as a state in 1816, and Kelly Karickhoff, executive director of Resource Development for the Kokomo Region.
Along with the dedication of the bicentennial panel, donors who supported the art project were recognized. These included long-time faculty members and administrators (and spouses, as noted) Kokomo Region Chancellor Emeritus Steve Daily; Kokomo and Lafayette Region Chancellor David and Rebecca Bathe; Kokomo Campus President Michelle Simmons; Fran Hardin, Jan and Darrell Bailey; and Dani and Johnathan McQuaide and Theresa and Brad Murphy.
More information on the Indiana Bicentennial Commission’s Bicentennial Legacy Project can be found at www.indiana2016.org .