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Courthouse artwork on display at ISBA

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The Indiana State Bar Association's courthouse art project is now on display for the public at the ISBA's offices in downtown Indianapolis. As of March 24, the collection included a total of 27 original paintings, charcoal drawings, ink drawings, and other artistic interpretations of historic and modern courthouses around Indiana.

In what started as an idea of then-ISBA president Douglas Church, which he kicked off with a donation from the Hamilton County Bar Association, the project continues to grow as a handful of artworks were donated in March. More are on the way, and "somewhere between six and 10 counties" have expressed an interest in donating to the project, Church said.

Church added that his last act as president of the ISBA when he stepped down in late 2009 was to name himself the "unofficial permanent chairman of the courthouse art committee."

He quickly credited the committee's actual co-chairs Julia Kozicki and Jane Merrill for their work on the project.

Church, along with Kozicki, Merrill, and others at the ISBA, have a goal to have artwork from about half of Indiana's counties by the end of the year.

To reach that goal, Church said committee members have been contacting attorneys in counties that aren't yet represented by the project.

"Part of the intent of our effort initially was to reach out to local bar associations and provide assistance and resources for things they couldn't do on their own," he said. "For example, the ISBA hosts local bar association's Web sites free of charge and makes sure the content is kept up to date."

Church and Kozicki said they've been impressed with how the counties have collected artwork for the project. Some have held contests where the first place winner's artwork is given to the ISBA and runners up have had their art displayed at the respective county's courthouse. Others have had contests for prize money or received donations from area judges, lawyers, or county bar associations who already had original artwork of their county's courthouse.

Each donation also has a story, Church and Kozicki said. In one county that held a contest, the winner was a high school student. In another county the winner was someone Church said was "unfortunately familiar with the court system."

To get the word out, the ISBA has published a brochure of the art they've received so far - along with a list of counties who haven't yet donated - to distribute at various events. That brochure, which includes information about the artists and donors, will be updated periodically.

Church said he hoped to have all of the art available for viewing at an upcoming statewide event, but those plans were still being finalized at Indiana Lawyer deadline. Until then, there are two ways to see the courthouse art: visit the ISBA offices, which some attorneys and artists have been doing; or visit the ISBA's Facebook page, which is available even to those not on Facebook. The Facebook site also has photos from various donation ceremonies.

The Facebook page includes artwork from Bartholomew, Benton, Daviess, DeKalb, Delaware, Dubois, Elkhart, Fulton, Fountain, Grant, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Jasper, Knox, Lake, Madison, Miami, Morgan, Posey, Sullivan, Tipton, Vanderburgh, Vigo, Wabash, Washington, and Wells county bar associations, lawyers, and others. Other artworks that have been donated but not yet officially handed over to the ISBA, including one from St. Joseph County, will be added to the site as they are available.

"I'm delighted we're over 25 percent of the way through the counties," Kozicki said. "The art is just lovely. I've enjoyed seeing it come in. We're always happy to learn about new counties."

For anyone who'd like to help their county contribute, Kozicki suggested they first touch base with county bar association leaders, and then call the ISBA or Kozicki, who said she was listed in the ISBA directory. "We'd be happy to help them get started."

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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

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