Murals coming to Johnson County

A Bargersville woman’s passion for art has landed her a special opportunity to leave her mark on the town in which she grew up.

Next month, when motorists and pedestrians pass through downtown Bargersville, a rural scene including a farm, silos and trees will replace what is currently a plain, beige wall on the building across the street from Taxman Brewery. The building, located at 10 S. Baldwin St. and owned by Umbarger Show Feeds, was selected to have a mural painted on it as part of a new countywide program.

Amber Berninger said she hopes that mural will remind people of the agricultural history and heritage that the town of Bargersville was built on.

Berninger will prepare the side of the building, including priming it and outlining the mural, and then on June 25, residents will paint or color the mural, said Kim Minton, vice president of development at the Johnson County Community Foundation.

Berninger was one of three artists selected to participate in “Color the County,” the mural program created by the Johnson County Community Foundation, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The foundation selected buildings in three locations, Bargersville, Franklin and Greenwood, to have a mural painted by a local aspiring artist, Minton said.

The community painting day and mural idea was one the foundation picked up from the Lawrence community in Indianapolis, Minton said. The foundation saw a need for more public art throughout Johnson County and Minton hopes to continue the program, and introduce at least one new mural each year somewhere in the county, Minton said.

Greenwood and Franklin residents will also each have the chance to color in their community’s mural.

The artists who will paint the murals were chosen based on how their ideas matched with criteria the foundation listed, which included quality and strength of concept and how it fit in with the town or city’s character, Minton said. Each aspiring artist that was selected also received $1,000. The Greenwood Rotary Club assisted with funding, Minton said.

The foundation met with city and town officials to get input on potential locations for murals. The selected buildings were based on the preference of the city and town, Minton said. After the locations were selected, the foundation met with building owners to discuss the plans and get approval, Minton said.

In Greenwood, Amy Hommell will paint her mural onto the side of a building located at 189 W. Main St. And in Franklin, Gordon Strain will have his work on the side of the courthouse annex building, located at 86 W. Court St.

Berninger, who has never had any of her work on public display, said she becomes more excited about the opportunity the more her family and friends talk about it.

“It’s exciting. (Bargersville is) growing so fast, I want to keep the agricultural base and history — that’s important to the core of downtown. I’m not sure what would top this opportunity,” Berninger said.

If you go

Each mural will be painted by the aspiring artist selected by the foundation. Residents are encouraged to come to community painting day to color in the murals using a paint-by-number method. 


Date: June 25

Time: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Location: 10 S. Baldwin St.


Date: July 30

Time: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Location: 86 W. Court St.


Date: Aug. 5

Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Location: 189 W. Main St.

Corey Elliot is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2719.