Fine Arts of the South Bend Region

This project encompasses a DVD/book package containing video interviews on three DVDs and a written history of 195 pages. The book is in full color, approximately 11 inches by 8 1/2 inches. The cost of the book is $50.00 plus $9.00 shipping and handling for a total of $59.00. Indiana residents please add 7% sales tax ($59.00 + $4.13 = $63.13). To purchase the book/DVD package click here.


Although the fine arts play a less formal historical role than other components which make up a community, most leaders see the benefit of art. At a fundamental level it is understood that “art establishes the basic human truths which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment” (John F. Kennedy). It also provides a way of understanding a community's history, and furnishes an additional dimension, a visual counterpoint, to words and memory. Unlike the history of its people, of war, of manufacturing, the history of the fine arts of a community are not usually documented. Now, while there are individuals who remember and are knowledgeable of much of that history, was the time to document it as an important legacy to future generations.

RMB Creative Associates worked with Lifetime Education And Research Network, Inc. (LEARN), to initially develop this exciting project. Wolfson Press and Indiana University South Bend joined the project and published the book/DVD package. The book contains articles about the history of the fine arts community and local institutions, as well as biographical information and illustrations from 100 individuals and families who have made a difference in the artistic heritage of the community. The three DVDs  contain eleven interviews with long term leaders of the local art community.

Video Interviews

Disc One:

Susan Visser: Executive Director of the South Bend Museum of Art since 1987.

B. Jane Burns: Founding Trustee in 1978 and Director of the Midwest Museum of American Art since 1981.
Brian Byrn: Artist; Curator of Exhibitions & Education of the Midwest Museum of American Art since 1981.

Dea Andrews:  Assistant to the Executive Director of South Bend Heritage Foundation and Coordinator of the Colfax Campus Gallery.  Started working with South Bend Heritage in 1978 and with the gallery in 1988.

Disc Two:

Dean A. Porter: Artist; Museum Director [1974-1999]; Curator [1966-1974; 1999-2000], The Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame;  Professor of Art History, Department of Art, Art History and Design [1966-2001].

Austin I. Collins, C.S.C.: Artist;  Professor of Sculpture in the Department of Art, Art History and Design at the University of Notre Dame.

Bill Sandusky: Artist; Professor (since 1980) and Past Art Department Chair, Saint Mary’s College.

Harold Zisla: Artist; Professor Emeritus and Past Art Department Chair, Indiana University South Bend; Former Director of South Bend Art Center (now South Bend Museum of Art).

Disc Three:

Jake (James) Webster: Artist; art educator; owner of Wood And Stone Sculptures in Elkhart, Indiana.

Frederick C. Elbel: A lifelong resident of South Bend. Graduate of Northwestern University, Class of 1941. Besides being a musicologist, Mr. Elbel continued his family’s interest in art and architecture.

Walton R. Collins: Retired Editor of Notre Dame Magazine and former Adjunct Associate Professor at Notre Dame and IUSB.  Former Associate Editor South Bend Tribune. 

Monica Radecki: Painting Conservator in private practice in South Bend, Indiana, since 1980.  Manages Radecki Art Galleries.


Book Table of Contents

Editor Walton R. Collins

Art In South Bend, A History: 1840 - 2000, Roger Birdsell

The Community and the Arts: An Overview, Harold Zisla

Art at Saint Mary's College, 1844 - Present 

University of Notre Dame, Dean A. Porter

The Arts at IU South Bend, 1961 - 2000, Patrick J. Furlong

Northern Indiana Artists, Jim Ferm

The Midwest Museum of American Art, Brian Byrn

South Bend Museum of Art: A Brief History, 1947 - 2000, Susan Visser

A Gallery of Artists

Artists of the Region