The Gardening of Art
When Pat Beudel and her husband, Bud, decided to move from Michigan to Indiana in 1992, they had a multitude of cities and towns from which to choose. However, they chose Zionsville; and according to her, they have never regretted their decision. Pat is a proud Zionsville resident who offers a unique artistic talent to the town with art created around gourds.
This local artist has found a way to truly maintain the local aspect of her art. Over a two-year period, she grows and dries her own gourds that she later uses as her canvas. As I soon discovered, raising gourds is not a simple process. In addition, only a very specific type of gourd can be used in Pat’s art. Every aspect of Pat’s process is as unique as it is interesting. Even her garden is unique. In the late 1990s, it was deemed a “National Wildlife Habitat,” and she has maintained this status ever since. She keeps a multitude of food sources, water sources, and shelter — a bat house included — within her organic habitat.
After talking with Pat, the importance of the Zionsville community became evident. Pat wanted to specifically mention the impact that Elizabeth Muellur has had on the Zionsville community. Pat and Elizabeth are both considered “Master Gardeners.” To keep this title, they must both complete various volunteer activities around the community. Presently, she is helping to restore an old cemetery north of town that dates back to the Civil War.
Being a certified Master Gardener, she is able to grow the gourds that she uses in her artwork. Although she was a gardener first, her love for art bled into her gardening. She managed to teach herself most of the techniques that she uses in her art. She saw gourds as being a more versatile alternative to canvas.
For those who are interested in appreciating these pieces of art in reality, there are a variety of options present. Her art is displayed within the CCA Gallery in downtown Zionsville and in the Renaissance Hotel located at 11925 Meridian Street in Carmel. In addition, LS Travel Retail Stores, located in airports around the United States, feature local artistry. Her art is featured at the Indianapolis airport LS Travel Retail Stores located in Concourse B. There, you can find walnut-sized gourd necklaces.
Pat is not the only one to appreciate all that gourds have to offer as art. To my surprise, there is an Indiana Gourd Society. This year, the society will hold its annual statewide gourd show on May 4 and 5. The show will be at the Boone County 4-H Fairgrounds in Lebanon, Indiana. Although Pat will not be showing her artwork this year, she has in the past.
Reading this article does not adequately allow a person to appreciate all aspects of Pat’s artwork. Thus, I encourage you all to dig deeper into this interesting area of art that Zionsville has to offer.