Art class visits cemetery to create etchings of the historic gravestones
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent August 8, 2013 2:34PM
Elaine Dash, a member of Carol Heikema’s art class at the Maria Reiner Center, rubs an engraving of Yohan, the Brickie mascot, from one of the headstones at Hobart Cemetery. | Post-Tribune photo
Updated: August 8, 2013 2:34PM
The etchings on some of the tombstones in historic Hobart Cemetery provide a glimpse into the lives of the people buried there.
A plane engraved into the headstone of the 26-year-old pilot and veteran tells of a young man who died during war.
A headstone bearing the likeness of Brickie mascot Yohan and a football with DePauw inscribed in it lets everyone know the man buried there loved football.
Flowers, torches, leaves and praying hands were engraved in several other stones, signifying the deeply religious and those who loved beautiful, living things.
Recently, several students in Carol Heikema’s art classes at the Maria Reiner Senior Center visited the cemetery to do rubbings of these etchings, using just green tape to hold tracing paper onto the stone and a medium that combines crayons and pastels to transfer the engravings onto paper.
Why the cemetery?
“Because it’s part of Hobart’s history,” Heikema said.
The cemetery officially dates back to 1859, but the oldest tombstone there goes back even further, to 1854, caretaker Rich Hammersmith said.
He said several mayors are buried there, as are a number of Swedish and German settlers who originally settled the city and veterans of battles dating as far back as the Civil War and Spanish-American War.
Bob Cervantes did several rubbings on one sheet of paper.
“Some of the etchings are very unique and interesting,” Cervantes said.
He said it’s easier to get rubbings off the newer headstones as some of the older stones are obliterated.
Elaine Dash was rubbing an etching of Yohan the Brickie mascot on one headstone, using the color purple, of course.
“I couldn’t do it by any other color,” she said.
Jack Capolillo, a beginning art student, said he was looking for interesting subjects on the tombstones and found one in a torch.
He rubbed a blue coloring back and forth over the torch, watching it appear on his thin paper.
“You can’t press too hard or it’ll have too many smears,” he said.
Heikema said she and her students like to venture outdoors every Monday while the weather is nice to do their artwork. She said the outdoor classes will probably continue through September.