Design Competition For New Shrine at Indian Lake


The American Society of Ephesus (“ASE”), in cooperation with ArtSpace/Lima, has announced that its state-wide Design Competition for the new Our Lady of Fatima Shrine at Indian Lake will start accepting entries on Saturday, June 15, 2024. The Entry Form and Rules are both posted on the websites for ASE and for ArtSpace/Lima, found at the end of this article. The Due Date for submission of all Entries is August 15, 2024. There are six Age Categories for artists: 10 & Under, 12 & Under, 14 & Under, 16 & Under, 18 & Under and Over 18. All Artists must be Ohio residents, as outlined in the Rules. There are cash prizes for the winning entries in all Age Categories of $1,000 for the first five Age Categories and up to $5,000 for the winning Entry in the Over 18 Age Category. Entries may also be submitted by a Design Team, as long as all members of the team meet the age and residency requirements.

The original Our Lady of Fatima Shrine was destroyed by a powerful EF-3 tornado that hit the Indian Lake region on March 14th of this year. “My grandfather built the original shrine in 1964 and I remember being there on the day that the 20-foot statue was placed on the concrete pedestal,” said Bill Quatman, president of ASE. “Many people from the local community begged us to build it back after this year’s tornado, and we agreed. But, we wanted input from the community on what should be built. So, a state-wide design competition seemed like the right way to get the best ideas from Ohio’s artists of all ages.”

Sally Windle, Executive Director of ArtSpace/Lima, explained, “A 5-person jury will review and judge the designs that are submitted. There will be one winner in the younger age categories and three finalists in the Over 18 category. Those three finalists in the older age group will then have a chance to refine their designs and resubmit them. The jury will then rank those three as first, second, and third, with cash prizes to all three,” Ms. Windle added. According to the Rules for the contest, ASE will acquire the rights to all winning designs in all Age Categories and can use ideas from any of them for the ultimate design for the new shrine. The winning design entries will be displayed at ArtSpace/Lima and posted to the websites for both sponsors for the Design Competition.

The original shrine had a formal dedication on August 30, 1964. George B. Quatman, Sr., the founder of ASE, owned the San Juan amusement park at Indian Lake at that time and he set aside property for the shrine. The original shrine was paid for from proceeds from his amusement park. George B. Quatman, Sr. passed away two weeks after the shrine’s formal dedication. “We had thought about eventually replacing the 60-year-old shrine,” said Bill Quatman, “and the tornado moved that date up by several years! We are very interested to see what creative ideas Ohio residents have for the new shrine and what the jury recommends.”

The project site known as St. Mary’s Point is owned by ASE, who hired a local contractor to demolish the damaged shrine, including its tall concrete and steel base. “We found over a dozen 10-foot deep concrete piers that held up the 40-foot tower and statue. But how do you stop a tornado with 155 mph winds? Well, you can’t, and so we are not asking artists to design a concrete shelter,” said Bill Quatman. “The old shrine lasted 60 years and it is unlikely that another tornado will come along for many more years.” Professional architects and structural engineers will be hired by ASE to prepare formal plans to be used for the construction of the new shrine.

The project’s $1.2 million budget includes up-front costs such as architectural and engineering fees, surveys, and soil borings. It will also cover the final statue, landscaping, foundations, lighting, construction, and installation with a goal of completing the project by August 15, 2026. According to the sponsors for the design competition, artists have two months to prepare and submit designs. Here is the full project schedule:

  • June 15, 2024. Rules and Entry Forms Available.
  • Aug. 15, 2024. Deadline for Submission of all Entries.
  • Sept. 16, 2024. Announcement of Winners and Finalists.
  • October 2024. Reception at ArtSpace/Lima. [Date to be announced]
  • Oct. 15, 2024. Deadline for Age Over 18 Category Finalists to Submit Final Entries.
  • Jan. 13, 2025. Jurors Announce Overall Winner, Second and Third Place Winners for Over 18.
  • May 12, 2025. Final design submitted to Ohio-licensed architect and engineer(s);
  • Aug. 15, 2025. Sealed architectural and engineering plans ready for bids.
  • Aug. 2025-2026. Contracts, fabrication, site work, and construction.
  • Aug. 15, 2026. Formal Dedication of New Shrine.

It is a pretty aggressive schedule – I admit,” said Bill Quatman, who is also a retired architect, “but we think we can rebuild within two years.” The old shrine built by his grandfather in 1964 had fountains and rotating motors, all of which stopped working many years ago. “Water and pumps from those fountains were hard to manage,” he added. “So, the rules for the competition prohibit any fountains in the new design.” No rotation devices are allowed either per the Rules. How long does it take to fabricate another large statue? And will it be made of metal, stone, concrete, or fiberglass? “We don’t know,” admitted Bill Quatman, “this is a pretty unusual construction project.” The property in Russells Point, Ohio is closed to the public for now and grass seed was recently planted where the old shrine used to be.

Entry Forms and Rules will be available on Saturday, June 15 at these websites: or, as well as photographs and surveys to be used by the artists.

For more information, visit: or

The American Society of Ephesus, Inc. (George B. Quatman Foundation) is a non-profit private foundation formed in 1955 and based in Lima, Ohio whose mission is to promote a greater realization and appreciation of the teachings and wonders of God; to preserve and erect religious shrines, and to restore and preserve the burial grounds of outstanding religious leaders.

ArtSpace/Lima is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing visual arts to all throughout the Lima area and beyond. The mission of ArtSpace/Lima is to enrich the community with creativity through exhibitions, educational programs, and events relevant to all cultures and populations. ArtSpace/Lima is supported by grants from the Ohio Arts Council and Arts Midwest.

The Our Lady of Fatima Shrine at Russells Point, Ohio was one of the tallest statues of the Virgin Mary in the United States. Dedicated in August 1964, the 43’ tall monument included a rotating 19’-6” fiberglass statue on a concrete pedestal with fountains, music, and lighting. It was damaged beyond repair by the March 2024 tornado prior to a planned 60th anniversary celebration. The shrine property is located at 261 Chase Ave., Russells Point, Ohio.