PlySpace Resident Heather Van Winckle Brings Candlepin Bowling to the Muncie Mall

Artist Heather Van Winckle brings a homemade candlepin bowling lane to the Muncie Mall with the PlySpace Residency Program. Photo providedArtist Heather Van Winckle brings a homemade candlepin bowling lane to the Muncie Mall with the PlySpace Residency Program. Photo provided

By: Erin Williams, PlySpace Residency Coordinator—

Muncie, IN—PlySpace, an artist-in-residence program of the Muncie Arts and Culture Council, completes the Fall 2018 Residency Term with a homemade candlepin bowling alley by resident artist Heather Van Winckle at the Muncie Mall. The bowling project, Main Stream, will be located inside a vacant storefront at the Mall and will be open to the public during select times from October 26th to November 4th, 2018.

Main Stream explores the game of bowling as an all-American pastime in an all-American location. The game of bowling is unique in that it can be learned by almost anyone at any age and only requires skill to knock down all of the pins at the end of the lane. With Main Stream, the game is reimagined as a short-length candlepin bowling lane with a soft wood surface which will take the impression of the ball after each roll, making it more difficult to roll the ball straight as the games progress. The ball used is small, only 2.5 lbs, and is easy for anyone to roll, though the lane may become difficult to navigate. The homemade lane features a built-in ball return and pin reset, bringing the game back to its simple roots, this time with an artist’s twist.

Van Winkle is a project-based, interdisciplinary artist who received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute with major focus in sculpture. She is interested in the nuances of American culture and the definition of “normal” social behavior. About this project, she writes, “Consider ‘normal’ as the deepest set tracks in a field we all walked through. All of us took our individual footsteps, sometimes choosing a path others had laid, often deviating either on purpose or without thinking onto untouched soil. A society full of edge-cases still forms a path somewhere in-between. Even if that line truly represents no one person, it represents us collectively. Main Stream examines the ways in which we continually shape our society to either reinforce or deviate from the paths trekked before.”

The public is encouraged to stop by the Main Stream storefront, located across from Country Charm, to learn more about PlySpace, participate in the project, and meet the artist. The bowling lane will be open to Muncie Mall patrons and curious community members alike on Tuesday (10/30) from 12-4 PM; Wednesday, 10/31 from 4-8PM with Trick-or-Treat; Thursday, 11/1 from 12-4; Friday 11/2 from 4-6 PM; Saturday 11/3 from 5-9 PM; and Sunday 11/4 from 12-3 PM. Times will also be posted at the storefront, and there is no fee to bowl.

On Friday 11/2 from 6PM to 9PM and Sunday 11/4 from 3PM to 6PM the lane will be available for teams of 4 to compete in candlepin league play. Each team will battle for one hour against a second team, and the highest score wins. To participate in the league, up to 6 teams per night can RSVP to to reserve a space, first come first serve. Game play is free, but teams who miss their reservation may have to forfeit their game. No experience with bowling or league play is necessary to form a team!

More information about Heather Van Winckle and other PlySpace Fall Term events can be found on the PlySpace website at and the PlySpace Facebook page. Questions or comments about the PlySpace Residency program, events, and community collaborations can be directed to the Residency Coordinator, Erin Williams, at


PlySpace is a program of Muncie Arts and Culture Council in partnership with the City of Muncie, Ball State University School of Art, and Sustainable Muncie Corporation. PlySpace is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.