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BEAD to celebrate public works with showing of manhole cover rubbings

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May 1, 2013

For more information, please contact:
Miah Michaelsen, Assistant Economic Development Director for the Arts, City of Bloomington Department of Economic and Sustainable Development, 349.3534

BEAD to celebrate Public Works Month with showing of manhole cover rubbings

Bloomington, Ind. - The City of Bloomington Entertainment and Arts District (BEAD) is celebrating Public Works Month in May with an exhibition of rubbings of manhole covers by Perry Olds. The rubbings will be shown in the Atrium at City Hall starting today.

Perry Olds, an award winning artist and photographer, has long had a fascination with grids and gridded art. This interest in grids has lead to creative works in various media, including this collection of rubbings of manhole covers from Israel. During a recent trip there, Olds was intrigued with the amazing designs of manhole covers and decided to photograph them. After musing over the photos, he decided to go a step further. Purchasing paper, graphite and oil pastels, he created more than 30 rubbings of these unique manhole covers.

The exhibit features a combination of prints of the rubbings, including one silk screen print and one original rubbing. The entire collection can be viewed at The exhibit will be on display in May from 8am to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, as well as additional evening and weekend hours when City Hall is open for meetings.

Olds was born in Detroit and was educated as an engineer; he has a bachelor's in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan and a master's in mechanical engineering from Michigan Technological University.

This project is another effort under the City's strategy to leverage and expand the economic development potential of the arts in Bloomington. According to the 2012 Americans for the Arts study, Bloomington's nonprofit arts sector contributes $72.3 million to the local economy annually through direct spending by arts organizations and their audiences. For more information on the study visit

The City of Bloomington is committed to providing opportunities for area artists to exhibit artwork at City Hall. For more information on the exhibition program, contact Assistant Economic Development Director for the Arts Miah Michaelsen at or 349.3534.