Topic: College of Communication Information and Media

March 23, 2015

Historic structures in rural Indiana are being photographed by Ball State University’s Chris Flook to capture a part of life disappearing in an increasingly high tech world.

“Indiana’s network of small towns, villages and hamlets reflect an idyllic, sustainable way of life rapidly being lost in the Midwest,” said Flook, a telecommunications instructor and project coordinator. “Smaller communities possess many historic structures and neighborhood patterns that are not found in modern day, suburban America.

“The charm of these communities and their historic structures offers a glimmer of the simple beauty of what was once the common way to deploy across the American landscape. By providing a comprehensive set of visuals for residents in Indiana, perhaps a renewed interest in our small towns will result in positive effects of growth for those communities.”

The Soul of Indiana's Communities - Small Towns is a comprehensive photographic survey. Funded by Indiana Landmarks, Indiana Humanities, the National Endowment for the Humanities and Ball State, Flook and other project photographers are traveling across east central and southeast Indiana to visit many small towns to photograph their historic structures, main streets, and any available historic districts.

The project is part of a larger initiative to promote Indiana before, during, and after the 2016 bicentennial celebration. Flook began the project in 2013 with Indiana’s Courthouse Squares, representing all of Indiana’s 92 counties. He plans to photograph the entire state over the next few years and will focus on south central and southwest Indiana this summer and early fall.