EPIC ART Along the Heritage Trail

Gigantic public art display is open for free viewing this summer only!

You’ll be captivated at every turn as you discover the amazing public art along the Heritage Trail.
56 Seward Johnson life-size bronze sculptures and a 25-foot tall, 27,000 pound monumental scale sculpture.
• Distinctive downtowns and Quilt Gardens
• Viewable FREE May 30 – October 20

Epic Art Adventures Guide

Looking for way-finding directions? Take our “mobile concierge” with you. Download Heritage Trail Adventures free from your app store for interactive maps, trip suggestions and a whole lot more.
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Epic Art Adventure guides are also available at the Elkhart Visitor Center, area business where the sculptures are located, and every Quilt Gardens location.


Seward Johnson, Portrait of an American Artist

Sculptor of bronze

Seward Johnson is an American artist who began his career as a painter before turning to sculpture. Johnson has long been considered one of the most widely recognized sculptors of our time and his works have developed a large and loyal following. More than 450 of Johnson’s life-size cast bronze figures have been featured in private collections and museums around the world and in prominent displays in places such as Times Square and Rockefeller Center in New York City, Pacific Place of Hong Kong, Les Halles in Paris, and Via Condotti in Rome.

Johnson is noted for collections that depict people engaged in everyday activities, works inspired by Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, and interpretations of cultural icons. A monumental scale sculpture of Johnson’s is on display at Pioneer Court (Michigan Avenue at the Chicago River) in Chicago, and his life-size works have been on exhibition in recent years in Carmel, Crown Point and Warsaw. At 86, Johnson remains active creating new pieces. For more information about Seward Johnson click here.
Artist Biography Spanish Translation (PDF)
Artist Biography French Translation (PDF)

Colossal Collection: More than 50 of Johnson’s life-size works from the Celebrating the Familiar, Beyond the Frame and Icons Revisited collections will be positioned in the downtowns of the communities of Bristol, Elkhart, Goshen, Middlebury, Nappanee and Wakarusa.

Hear from the artist himself, Seward Johnson, on his perspective of public art.

View Photo Gallery

About the Exhibit

God Bless America by Seward Johnson ©1995 ©2007 The Seward Johnson Atelier, Inc. www.sewardjohnsonatelier.orgSeward Johnson’s sculptures have been turning heads and causing conversation for nearly fifty years. For four months in 2017 only (May 30 – October 20), the communities of Bristol, Elkhart, Goshen, Middlebury, Nappanee and Wakarusa will be the site of the largest and most significant exhibit of Johnson’s work – outside of his personal retrospective – in the world.

In celebration of the Quilt Gardens‘ 10th anniversary, the gardens welcome special guests! Gracing the gardens are life-sized Seward Johnson sculptures. This public art exhibition will present 56 stunningly realistic life-size bronze sculptures in the distinctive downtowns and at Quilt Garden locations.

The festive atmosphere will all be topped off – literally – by the monumental-scale sculpture titled God Bless America. Johnson’s interpretation of the well-known Grant Wood painting, American Gothic – at 25-feet-tall – will tower over downtown Elkhart’s Central Park.


Highlights along the trail

YuckGoFetchYou’ll be captivated at every turn as you discover the amazing public art along the Heritage Trail. Here are just a few highlights.

People and Places: Johnson first became known for sculptures depicting people engaged in everyday activities. His desire to highlight the mundane in his Celebrating the Familiar sculpture series has brought a unique voice to the world of art in public spaces. Get into the Photo Shoot at downtown Wakarusa’s Quilt Garden or get a “kiss” and play with Yuck, Go Fetch in Memorial Park, Middlebury.

A New Impression: Johnson went on to create the Beyond the Frame series. This body of work, consisting of elaborate tableaux that allow viewers to walk into the scenes of Impressionist paintings. Take a turn on the dance floor with Time For Fun, a tribute to the classic Renoir painting, Dance in the Country, at The Elkhart County Historical Museum or Whispering Close, also inspired by a Renoir, at the Middlebury Community Historical Museum. Walk the streets of Paris with La Promenade at Havillah House, a tribute to the classic painting Paris Street; Rainy Day.


Really big deal

A Turn of the Century detailLooking to the past: Johnson’s most recent series, Icons Revisited, asks provocative questions concerning our society’s embrace of particular visual icons, and their impact and shift of message over time. As part of this exploration, Johnson has enlarged some of the sculptures into monumental scale for placement in the public domain.

The monumental scale sculpture, God Bless America, will be positioned in downtown Elkhart’s Central Park, overlooking the RiverWalk and with a commanding view of the Civic Plaza, Lerner Theatre and other city landmarks. This 25-foot-tall sculpture was inspired by Grant Wood’s famous American Gothic painting.

Interact and be photographed with these extraordinary works of art. Post your fun selfies and pictures using #EpicArtAdventures and #QuiltGardens