The five Ball Brothers from Buffalo, NY moved their canning jar manufacturing factory to Muncie in 1888. The company was a huge success and soon the “Ball Jar” was known across the nation. There is a large collection of Ball Jars at Minnetrista. The Ball brothers and their families left a lasting impression on the Muncie community, creating philanthropic organizations (like Ball Brothers Foundation and George & Frances Ball Foundation), an educational institution (Ball State University), and the year-round gathering place of Minnetrista. At Minnetrista is the Catalyst. This completed sculpture is comprised of 32,000 pounds of limestone, 17,000 pounds of stainless steel and 2,000 pounds of dichroic and plate glass. 4,400 hours went into the fabrication of steel for Catalyst, which is 26 feet in diameter. It is located at the main entrance to Minnetrista. Catalyst was commissioned for Minnetrista by Virginia B. Ball to honor her husband, Edmund F. Ball. The design represents partnership, giving and stewardship which were important ideals of Mr. Ball. It was also intended to represent a century of giving by the Ball family, their stewardship of the land, and Minnetrista as a catalyst in the community. The sculpture was dedicated in June 2004. The artist is Beverly Stucker Precious of Indianapolis.
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