Workshop student Linda Hancock, of Madison, Wisconsin, carves letters into a block of limestone at the 2019 Indiana Limestone Symposium while Steve Shirley (left), of San Diego, and Alicia Marquez, right, originally from Venezuela and now of Chicago, work on their own projects. Photos by Rodney Margison

Indiana Limestone Symposium (ILS) will kick off its new partnership with Monroe County Parks and Recreation at the Carving in the Park event this Saturday, October 17, at Karst Farm Park. The event is open to the public—with physical distancing and face coverings required—and free of charge. Demonstrations will begin at noon and continue until 4 p.m.

Amy Brier, symposium co-founder, with a work in progress. Courtesy photo

Participating artists are expected to include Cheryl Ann Lorance, Steve Tourney, Sidney Bolam, Amy Brier, Tom Duffy, and Bill Holladay.

This workshop and others to be held throughout 2021—the 25th anniversary of ILS—have been made possible by a grant the organization received from the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, which has allowed ILS to expand its programming from one large, annual event held every June to now include many smaller workshops, demonstrations, and other limestone carving events throughout the year.

All the 2021 events (except the annual Symposium in June) will be held at the organization’s dedicated space in Karst Farm Park beginning in April.

“Limestone built Monroe County and remains a link to the region’s past and its future,” said ILS spokesperson Mary Anne Sterling. “From the opening of the first quarry near Stinesville in 1827 to the expansion of railways 20 years later, Indiana limestone fueled the county’s growth.

“Today, Indiana limestone remains one of the most revered and versatile natural resources, prized by sculptors, architects, and builders.”

For more information, visit Indiana Limestone Symposium on Facebook or