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Mike Grant | Times Herald A Touch of Heaven at the intersection of Main Street and SR 57 is expected to add a mural following the announcement of Arts Grants by the State of Indiana.

Two area businesses have received Indiana Destination Development grants to create public art projects.

A Touch of Heaven in Washington and Loogootee Eye Center will each receive $5,000 grants to do murals on their buildings.

“It’s amazing to see so many cities, towns, destination marketing organizations, private businesses and others apply for this public art grant and want to enhance their communities through art,” said Indiana Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch. “These pieces can tell a community’s unique story that engages with first-time visitors and builds pride with long-time residents.”

The owners of A Touch of Heaven are looking at putting a mural on the building that centers on the city.

“We are going to do a mural. The Washington Arts Club from the high school will do it,” said owner Samantha Killough. “We are planning something with angel wings. We will put some historical facts about Washington and some about our Main Street.”

The owners at Loogootee Eye Center have a plan that joins together the city’s motto with their business.

“We are going to put a mural on the side of our building,” said Eye Center spokesman Samantha Alvarez. “We are planning on putting an eye chart on the side of the building that says Loogootee, Indiana, a small city with a big heart.”

The business is located on West Main Street in Loogootee, just off of the square.

“We took over this business about a year ago and wanted to put something on the side of the building because I thought it would be nice to kind of fit in with the rest of the town,” said Alvarez. “We have a perfect space on the side of our building so when this came up, I thought we should apply.”

The Loogootee mural will be done by Indianapolis artist Barbara Stahl, who has done a previous mural in the community.

“I am very excited about it,” said Alvarez. “We will be beautifying Loogootee. “We’ll be adding cool elements to downtown. They are trying to spruce up downtown and I think this will really help.”

The projects are due to be completed by the end of October.

“We hope it will be something that creates some more attraction to the building, maybe get us some more customers,” said Killough.

The grants were part of $242,000 awarded for 49 public art projects in 34 counties.

“Projects selected were based on location and visibility to Indiana residents and visitors,” Elaine Bedel, IDDC’s Secretary and CEO said. “The hope is to create photo opportunities while promoting Indiana.”

And at the same time provide a brighter look to the communities and the people who live there.

“I’m pretty excited we have been wanting something like this since we bought the place three and a half years ago,” said Killough. “This has really been a blessing to get this.”

“We are excited about it and that it is going to brighten up Loogootee,” said Alvarez. “Hopefully, when people drive by it, it will make them smile. I think this will help spruce up our area.”

Other area recipients for the arts grants were the Carnegie Heritage and Art Center in Linton, the city of Sullivan, and the Heart of Jasper.

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