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Art in surprising Bluffton places

Riley Creek landform quenches our thirst

Main Street drinking fountain • Judith Greavu, artist You may not realize the story behind the drinking fountain on the Bluffton Presbyterian Church Lawn on Main Street.

Originally placed catty-cornered on the Citizens National Bank corner, the fountain was created by Bluffton artist Judith Greavu in 1881. Titled “Riley Creek Landform,” it was commissioned by the Bluffton Cultural Affairs Committee.

It depicts the Riley Creek, which is a significant feature in the Bluffton community.

One of the interesting features of the work is that the bricks in the fountain are bricks taken from Main Street. Viewers will notice that one was created in 1927 as a convict-made brick.

Greavu taught at Bluffton University and retired from Ohio Northern University where she was associate professor in the department of art & design from 1985–2005.

Her works have been shown in numerous venues around the country. She has presented from Michigan to Florida and throughout Ohio, including being selected for “Spineless Wonders: Invertebrates as Inspirations,” an exhibit celebrating the bicentennial of Charles Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of On the Origin of Species.

Locally, in addition to the drinking fountain, she has large sculpture commissions for Tiffin University and the Inniswood Botanical Gardens, and her Reef Installation was one of the works in the citywide Grand Rapids’ ArtPrize exhibition in 2010. In 2011, she was honored with a retrospective exhibit at ArtSpace/Lima.


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