Stacie (Tanksley) Drane ’13 prefers using a paintbrush rather than a microphone to amplify her voice. Drane’s contest-winning outdoor mural speaks volumes about her love for the local community, gratitude for diversity and hope for the future.
Her 2020 design impressed judges in charge of the Johnson County Community Foundation’s Color the County mural program last summer. Since 2016, the program has brought together local artists and residents through a collaborative process of making murals, transforming public spaces and expressing neighborhood identities. The program has funded 10 murals countywide. While Drane designed the winning mural, the public was invited to help paint it on a wall at Taxman Brewing Co.’s gastropub in Bargersville, Indiana, last August.
What is the meaning of the mural in Bargersville?
“I really wanted it to emphasize unity. The parent and child images just below the dove symbolize compassion and love, and their hands reaching for each other represent inclusivity, with all of humankind wanting to feel united. The sun shining on their faces, while setting and rising, represents the hope of a new day. The farming silos and city lights represent harmony between the agricultural and industrial areas of Bargersville, and symbolize the small community’s unity with the surrounding larger towns. All the plants are symbols of hope, rebirth and growth. I wanted to show that even in the darkest of times we can find light.”
What sparked your interest in art?
“I think art has always been my escape. For some people, it’s books and writing, for me it’s always been painting and drawing. I graduated from college with degrees in painting, design and art history.”
What is your intent as an artist?
“I always want viewers to be moved and inspired, and to feel that they can relate the art to their own life.”
How do you hope your artwork impacts the community?
“The community of Johnson County is so diverse. I wanted to be able to represent everyone who lives here, from the small towns to the bigger cities. I hope the mural brings light and color to our community, especially during this time of uncertainty. I want the community to feel united as we look to the future. It’s also very important to me for my daughters, Haley, 2, and Alaina 10 months, to know their mom had a voice in the community, even though I’m not the most outspoken person. I want them to know and feel unity and inclusion as they grow up.”
How did Franklin College help prepare you as an artist? “I would say Art History with Dr. Svetlana Rakic (professor of art) really helped me understand how significantly the arts influenced society during different time periods. Since then, Cubism, Futurism and Abstract Art have fascinated me, and they influenced my mural design. My college classes also are where I refined the technical design skills I used working in the field prior to staying home with my children.”
What are your hobbies/interests?
“As a stay-at-home mom with two daughters, my days tend to be filled with lots of Goldfish® crackers, juice boxes and snuggles. When I do get free time, I enjoy photography and traveling.”
Story by Alexa Shrake ’23, Pulliam Fellow in the Office of Communications
POSTED Jun 8, 2021