A Song for Indiana, located in Fairbanks Park near the Wabash River, celebrates Paul Dresser, Indiana’s State Song and the river itself. In creating the unique bronze sculpture, artist Teresa Clark looked to the river and the words of the song for her inspiration. The notes and refrain of the song’s chorus, which serves as its title, “On the banks of the Wabash Far Away” are visible flowing into undulating forms that merge into a large negative space symbolizing the river, and through which the actual river can be seen. A profile of Paul Dresser graces one inner curve and details inspired by the song are found throughout the piece.

Paul Dresser was born in Terre Haute and achieved international renown in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s with his popular music, but it was “On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away,” about his Indiana home, for which he is now best remembered. In March 1913 the Indiana Legislature declared it the State Song and this was reaffirmed in both legislative houses in March 2013. Dresser’s childhood home was moved to Fairbanks Park in the 1980’s to save it from demolition and the sculpture is located nearby.

A Song for Indiana pays tribute to several important cultural treasures and welcomes residents and visitors to the park’s south entrance.

The Wabash and The Wabash: Volume II are collections of songs about the Wabash River sung by musicians with roots in the Wabash Valley of West Central Indiana and East Central Illinois. Both CDs were produced to raise funds for A Song for Indiana. They are available for purchase from the Art Spaces office.

Additional Information:

Bronze and Limestone, 2014

9′ high, 6′ wide, 2′ 6″ deep

Located at the Paul Dresser Memorial Birthplace in Fairbanks Park at First Street and Dresser Drive.

Teresa Clark lives and works in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Art Spaces gratefully acknowledges:

  • Terre Haute Rotary Club
  • 100+ Women Who Care Vigo County