Mail - Transportation and Delivery
Mail – Transportation and Delivery is one of a series of nine murals in the U.S. Courthouse and Post Office painted by Indianapolis artist Grant Christian in 1936, with funding from the Treasury Relief Art Project. The mural consists of 7 oil on canvas panels.
In 1934, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr. established the Section of Painting and Sculpture with the goals of providing decoration for public buildings to increase public exposure to art and to provide financial relief for Depression-era artists. The Section’s head, Edward Bruce, considered post offices to be ideal locations for art, since they were accessible and widely visited. The Treasury Relief Art Program (TRAP), affiliated with the Works Progress Administration, was part of this initiative. A national program of murals in post offices was commissioned with the requirement that, if possible, murals were to be painted by residents of the state in which the mural appeared. In Indiana, 37 murals were commissioned from mostly unknown artists.
Under TRAP, Indianapolis artist Grant Christian in 1936 painted a series of nine murals for the U.S. Courthouse and Post Office in Indianapolis (now the Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse). This mural, located in the southwest corner of the third floor on the south wall, is one of them. Christian was 24-years-old and a recent graduate of the John Herron Art Institute (now the Herron School of Art & Design) when he was commissioned after winning a competition.
From left to right, the individual panels are titled “The Capital’s First Railroad,” “Transportation and Communication,” and “Industry and Legislation.” The last panel shows Indiana Governor Paul V. McNutt (with document) and Indianapolis Mayor John W. Kern (behind the Governor) who were in office when Mr. Christian painted the murals. At the upper right of this panel, over the sleek modern train, is a depiction of the Indiana State House dome.
Photo, text, and permission credit: U.S. General Services Administration, Public Buildings Service, Fine Arts Collection
Maple Crossing Positive Polka Dots
The Department of Public Words (Megan Jefferson, Dave Combs, and Holly Combs) worked for six weeks during the summer of 2016 with youth from the TeenWorks summer jobs program to create this mural.
According to the artists, “We spread positivity and encouragement by painting uplifting murals. This colorful mural is no exception. Bright colors and positive messages help brighten the neighborhood of Maple Crossing.”
This mural depicts the world-renowned poet, author and playwright Mari Evans (1923- ), who moved to Indianapolis in 1947 and spent the bulk of her writing career here. Evans is known as one of the inspirations and leading lights of the Black Arts movement of the 1960s and 1970s, which sought to create a signature African-American aesthetic and perspective and infuse it into contemporary literature, visual arts, music and theater.
Evans’ work talks about the actions and ideals of the Civil Rights Movement and about celebrating of Africa both as a place and a concept, as well as her personal experiences as a Black woman. Her catalogue includes include hundreds of poems, essays, articles, plays, criticism, fiction stories and even children’s books. She is probably best known for her poems “Celebration” and “I Am A Black Woman,” and for her original musical “Eyes,” which adapted Zora Neale Hurston’s book Their Eyes were Watching God for the stage. Her contributions to Black history, women’s history, and the history of the 20th century are becoming more apparent as Evans enters the canon of American literature. She has been included in over 400 literary anthologies and in 2015 she received an Indiana Authors Lifetime Achievement Award from the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library Foundation, only the second one ever given.
The mural’s artist, Michael “Alkemi” Jordan, is an Indianapolis resident and native. He has painted murals, portraits, and abstract compositions professionally since the 1970s, and has been writing poetry since the age of seven. Jordan has exhibited his work locally at Indiana Black Expo, the Crispus Attucks African American Museum, the annual “Meet the Artist” exhibition at the Central Library, and at the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art. He is a member of the local Black artist group “I Am/We Are”.
The mural project was curated by Big Car Collaborative and was created with the Riley Area Development Corporation and support from the Indiana Arts Commission, as part of the Indiana Bicentennial Celebration, and The Efroymson Family Fund.
This project began with an interest in challenging the typical notion of the parking structure as an unappreciated infrastructural typology by transforming the new Eskenazi Hospital parking structure into a binary, synthetic terrain. During the design process, an interest in camouflage evolved into an approach that would create a very large dynamic, interactive element for the City. Rather than an actively kinetic approach, with all of the inevitable maintenance and longevity concerns that accompany those types of project, we were instead working towards an approach that capitalizes on the fact that most viewers would, themselves, be moving on bicycles or in automobiles. Thus, the design ultimately became something that offers a degree a variability of color and form as one passes by the project. The awareness of this, interestingly enough, occurs whether someone is directly watching or even just seeing it out of their periphery of vision
The effect of a field of 7,000 angled metal panels in conjunction with an articulated east/west color strategy creates a dynamic façade system that offers observers a unique visual experience depending on their vantage point and the pace at which they are moving through the site. In this way, pedestrians and slow moving vehicles within close proximity to the hospital will experience a noticeable, dappled shift in color and transparency as they move across the hospital grounds, while motorists driving along W. Michigan Street will experience a faster, gradient color shift which changes depending on their direction of travel.
To facilitate the effect, a total of 18 different panels sizes/angles are used throughout. They range from 300mm tall x 600mm long to 300mm tall x 1m long. There approximately 7,000 of these panels. The color scheme is quite simple as the west side received a deep blue color, while the east side receives a golden yellow color. The angles, alone, create the illusion of different hues.
Dedicated on December 14, 2014, Mayor Bill is a significant sculpture representing Hon. William H. Hudnut III, former Mayor of Indianapolis, who served the Indianapolis community from 1976 – 1992. As a four-term mayor, Bill Hudnut was responsible for the formation of a public-private sector partnership that led to Indianapolis’s emergence during the 1980’s as a major American city. He was actively involved in private sector developments such as the $300M Circle Centre downtown retail/entertainment complex, the negotiations to bring the Baltimore Colts to Indianapolis, the construction of the 36-story American United Life building, and numerous sports venues downtown. Bill was a clergyman at Second Presbyterian Church; served as the 11th Congressional District U.S. Congressman; and most recently completed his service as a Senior Fellow (Emeritus) at The Urban Land Institute (ULI) in Washington, D.C. Bill has received many awards, including Princeton University’s highest alumni honor, the Woodrow Wilson Award for public service (1986); City and State magazine’s “Nation’s Most Valuable Public Official (1988); the Rosa Parks Award from the American Association for Affirmative Action (1992); and the Distinguished Public Service Award for the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns (1985). He has received honorary degrees from thirteen universities and colleges.
McCord Park Sundial
The McCord Park sundial was dedicated to a local police officer William Whitfield, who was the first African American police officer killed in the line of duty in Indianapolis.
Officer William Whitfield, 37, was shot by an unknown gunman on Sunday, June 18, 1922, in an alley just west of 3600 North College Avenue shortly after 11:00 pm. Officer Whitfield was taken to City hospital where he lingered near death for several months. He died on November 27, 1922.
Officer Whitfield had recently been assigned in civilian clothes to work the north side area. He attempted to stop and question an unidentified white male in the first alley west of College on 36th Street when the incident occurred.
Officer Whitfield could tell little of the shooting. He said a man who was roughly dressed approached him. Officer Whitfield called to the man and informed him that he was a policeman, pulling back his coat to display his badge. When ordered to stop, the man ran. Officer Whitfield pursued on foot. After running only a short distance, the man turned, pulled a revolver and fired. Officer Whitfield returned fire, but the suspect fled and disappeared.
Struck by a bullet in the abdomen, Officer Whitfield fell onto the sidewalk. Struggling to his feet, he walked to 36th and College where he stopped a street car crew who notified police. A passerby volunteered to take him to hospital. Officer Whitfield clung to life for 21 weeks, succumbing to his injuries on November 27. His death remained virtually unpublished at the time, and he was buried in an unmarked grave at Crown Hill Cemetery.
Officer Whitfield, an African-American, had been a member of the police department since April 1910 and had an exceptionally good record. Having previously been assigned to the predominantly black Indiana Avenue Corridor, Officer Whitfield was newly assigned to the white neighborhood at College and Fairfield, the first black officer to have been so assigned. The assignment was not well received. There is speculation the shooting was racially motivated and not a random act of violence. The case remains unsolved.
In August 1998, a write-up of the circumstances of Officer Whitfield’s death and burial in an unmarked grave appeared in an IPD Newsletter. Inspired by the write-up, members of the police department established a fund to buy a grave marker for the fallen officer. It took three hours to raise the monies needed for the purchase. On November 30, 1998, full honors were given Officer Whitfield in a tribute at Crown Hill Cemetery where the gravestone was dedicated. Hundreds were in attendance on a late, wet, fall day when the rain paused and the sun shone brightly on the ceremony.
A sundial and plaque dedicated to Officer Whitfield also are displayed among the trees and flowers at Watson-McCord Park near 38th and College. Their installation in the park was launched in 2002 by a project initiated by a long-time resident of the neighborhood, Leon Bates, who has dedicated years to researching the death of Officer Whitfield.
Officer Whitfield was the first African-American IPD officer to give his life in the line of duty.
Quoted from: www.indy.gov/eGov/City/DPS/IMPD/About/Memoriam/Pages/wwhitfield.aspx
Meet & Greet
MEET & GREET, formerly exhibited in White River State Park, is one of a series of sculptures that artist Leslie (Les) Bruning refers to as “street conservations.” Bruning believes that, in a civil society, we need to talk to each other in an open and friendly way if we are to co-exist peacefully. In this sculpture, the faces come face-to-face with each other as the interactive cranks are manually turned. This artwork demands participation to create the daily activity of facing our fellow citizens, and the turning of the cranks will also trigger a sound track of four short sentences that will be repeated each time the crank restarts. The sentences are: Effort has its rewards. Rewards give us pleasure. Pleasure wins us friends. Friends make life rewarding.
Les Bruning is an accomplished and nationally recognized sculpture artist, specializing in metal casting and welding. Born in Syracuse, KS and raised in Nebraska, Bruning received a BA Degree in Art from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1970 and earned an MFA Degree in Sculpture from Syracuse University in 1972. He is also a founding member and partner in the Hot Shops Art Center, the owner of Bruning Sculpture, Inc., and a founding member of the Omaha Creative Institute. As an active participant, advocate, and organizer of public art projects, Bruning was a member of the J. Doe Project, created the J. Doe form, was a participant in Chicago’s Navy Pier exhibitions as well as Omaha’s 0! Art Project and several other projects.
For more information, see: http://www.inwhiteriver.com/
For more information on the artist, see: http://bruningsculpture.com/
Mega-Gem, owned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art but lent to Indiana University/Purdue University at Indianapolis, represents an oversized, faceted gemstone with several “rosette” gems of various colors inserted into the facets. The sculpture was part of a gemstone series done by the artist that played with the idea of the preciousness of art, in which he created the form associated with something valuable in materials that were more ordinary.
The sculpture first appeared at the Chicago International Art Exposition at Navy Pier in 1989, exhibited by the Carl Solway Gallery of Cincinnati, and remained there until 1994 when it was loaned by the gallery to the Indianapolis Museum of Art for three years. In 1997, the museum’s Contemporary Art Society raised funds to purchase it. It was moved to the IUPUI campus in 2009 for safekeeping during the construction of the museum’s 100 Acres (the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park), one of four sculptures owned by the museum to be relocated on campus.
The artist, John Torreano (b. 1941), was born in Flint, Michigan. He attended the Cranbrook Academy of Art and then Ohio State University, where he received his M.F.A. Torreano has worked in a variety of mediums and methods including paint, sculpture, relief, furniture and hand-blown glass. As of 2016, he is the director of the MFA program at New York University and a professor of studio art at NYU’s Steinhardt School. His work betrays an obsession with gemstones. Read more about his work at http://www.johntorreano.com/
Learn more about this artwork at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mega-Gem
Mercury and Two Allegorical Figures
Mercury and Two Allegorical Figures was carved by limestone sculptor Henry Saunders between 1896 and 1897. The sculpture was formerly located atop Indiana National Bank Building at the intersection of Virginia Avenue and South Pennsylvania from 1897-1970. The INB building was designed by August C. Bohlen, and was razed in 1970.
The sculpture features the figure of the Roman god Mercury, who often represents Commerce, with winged helmet and sandals crouched behind two seated female figures. The figure to his proper right, representing Industry, has a cogwheel beneath her proper right hand. The figure to his proper left has what appears to be a windlass (a winch used by ships to hoist anchors) at her proper left. The interpretation of this figure is ambiguous: she could represent either Trade or Exploration, both associated with commerce. Both seated figures are barefoot and wear draped gowns.
The limestone sculpture now sits on a concrete base in the plaza just north of Regions Tower at One Indiana Square.
Merrill Street Platform
The planting of this greenspace along the Cultural Trail in the Fletcher Place neighborhood was completed by Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc., on November 16th, 2013, with the artwork installed in spring 2014.
The site provides a green backdrop for the Cultural Trail with trees for shade, sound insulation and seasonal interest. The greenspace enhances the Virginia streetscape for visitors, merchants and residents. The Merrill Street Platform serves as a seating element for the park, as well as a piece of sculpture. Its reclaimed cedar planks are oriented perpendicular to the trail, while reclaimed limestone curbs jut out vertically from the sloped deck at varying heights. The interesting form reflects the surrounding triangular park and provides a comfortable place to lie or sit on, play, and interact with.
Luur Design, based in Carmel, Indiana, operates under the direction of designer Chris Stuart. It is a multidisciplinary studio practicing in the areas of architecture, furniture design, product design, graphic design, and art. More information is available at http://www.luurdesign.com/work/
Metal Fingers Krew Mural
In 2015, the Metal Fingers Krew from Muncie, IN created this mural during the annual Subsurface Graffiti Expo.
Subsurface is an event that showcases mural and graffiti artists from all over America and beyond. Since 2002, artists have traveled to Indianapolis every Labor Day weekend to create work and build community. Subsurface seeks to advance the art form through beautifying and revitalizing the landscape of urban neighborhoods. Subsurface also seeks to raise social and cultural awareness and promote the arts as an institution of empowerment for all involved.
Artwork includes excerpt from poem Midnight Flight by Indiana poet Joyce Brinkman.
Located in Concourse A.
The signature piece of artwork for White River Gardens is "Midwestern Panorama," a spectacular circular mural located in the Bud Schaefer Rotunda main entrance. Executed by Miami-based muralist Andrew Reid, this 360-degree depiction of gardening themes is one of the most impressive and important pieces of public art in the state. At nearly 160 feet long and 16 feet high, the main portion of this two-part mural offers visitors a truly dynamic first impression of the Gardens. Extremely colorful and extraordinary in impact, the mural shows a seamless transition of gardening activities and plants from winter through spring, summer, fall and back again. Above this section is an additional mural element that is 100 feet long and 10 feet high and depicts a wisteria vine dripping with flowers of the season. Special thanks to Bob and Cheryl Sparks for their generosity in funding this stunning piece of public art.
Quoted from www.indianapoliszoo.com/SitePages/WhiteRiverGardens/BudSchaeferRotunda.aspx
The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art partnered with Christel House Academy to bring art into this Near Southside neighborhood. A grant from the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation allowed the Eiteljorg to connect students at the Christel House Academy with Native American photographer and installation artist, Will Wilson (Diné), for a mural project that not only introduced students to art and indigenous cultures, but it also helped them give back to the Indianapolis community by beautifying a neighborhood building. As part of the project, Wilson talked to the students about Diné culture and the influence of his culture on his art.
Mihtohseenionki means “the people’s place” in the Miami language, referring to what local indigenous peoples (the Miami, Delaware, Potawatomi, and others) think of the Indiana region.
The students assisted Wilson in tracing and filling in the mural celebrating the Indians of Indiana. The mural, which was placed on a vacant building, was created in part of Christel House Academy’s efforts to bring a multicultural education to their students.
William (Will) Wilson is a Diné photographer who spent his formative years living in the Navajo Nation. Born in San Francisco in 1969, Wilson studied photography at the University of New Mexico (Dissertation Tracked MFA in Photography, 2002) and Oberlin College (BA, Studio Art and Art History, 1993). In 2007, Wilson won the Native American Fine Art Fellowship from the Eiteljorg Museum, and in 2010 was awarded a prestigious grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation. Wilson has held visiting professorships at the Institute of American Indian Arts (1999-2000), Oberlin College (2000-01), and the University of Arizona (2006-08). From 2009 to 2011, Wilson managed the National Vision Project, a Ford Foundation funded initiative at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, and helped to coordinate the New Mexico Arts Temporary Installations Made for the Environment (TIME) program on the Navajo Nation. Read more about Wilson at http://willwilson.photoshelter.com/index
Millersville Marker dramatically enhances the Millersville section of the Fall Creek Trail, which the Millersville at Fall Creek Valley neighborhood adopted and improved since 2013. Millersville representatives expressed the desire to create a community space along the Fall Creek Trail where residents and visitors could relax and enjoy a natural setting in the heart of Indianapolis.
After their discussions with the Millersville neighborhood, artists Amy Brier and Sharon Fullingim found that residents frequently conveyed the importance of the incorporation of a mill wheel element: a nod to the area’s history. Limestone was selected as the material because it is the artists’ specialty. The artwork design recalls this history with the inclusion of partial mill wheel forms at the top of each of three adjacent upright pillars. A life-sized, three-dimensional, red-tailed hawk in cast bronze adorns the tallest upright to refer to the wildlife seen near the site. Each pillar also has one carved side and one side with the natural limestone face. The carved sides have detailed motifs featuring symbols of the area: birds, wheat, and the flowing water of Fall Creek. Each upright is “pierced” with shaped openings to allow light to flow through them.
Amy Brier lives in Bloomington, Indiana. She is a professional sculptor, trained in traditional carving techniques in Italy and with experience working on St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York City. She has executed many public sculptural projects in Indiana. Learn more about Brier at http://www.amybrier.com
Sharon Fullingim lives most of the year in Socorro, New Mexico, and is both a stone carver and bronze caster. She is a Signature Member of the Society of Animal Artists, and is the Director and lead carver for the Indiana Limestone Symposium held each summer in Ellettsville, IN. Learn more about Fullingim at http://www.fullingimstudio.net/
You can find out more about the Millersville at Fall Creek Preserve project here.
Don Gummer: Back Home Again is presented by the Central Indiana Community Foundation in honor of the 100th anniversary of The Indianapolis Foundation and in partnership with the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, Inc. This outdoor exhibition is located on the Indianapolis Cultural Trail and it features eight sculptures by Indianapolis-native, New York-based artist Don Gummer.
The artist, Don Gummer was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1946. When he was seven years old Gummer and his family moved to Indianapolis, Indiana. As Gummer grew up in Indianapolis he attended Ben Davis High School where he demonstrated his artistic talent by winning local awards. Gummer attended Herron School of Art in Indianapolis before moving to Boston, Massachusetts to attend School of the Museum of Fine Arts. From Boston, he went on to Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, where he completed both his Bachelor of Fine Art and his Masters of Fine Arts.
Gummer prefers that each individual bring their own interpretation to Minuteman and his other sculptures along the Cultural Trail.
Don Gummer: Back Home Again runs from August 31, 2016 to August 7, 2017.
On the campus of the University of Indianapolis and south of the Schwitzer Student Center stands the stoneware sculpture Modular Tower, by Barry Barnes. This work is the result of a spontaneous approach to the ceramic surface. Each modular block is approached as an individual “canvas” investigation—a collage of textures, line, shape, pattern, color, and recognizable images. Engobes and underglazes are layered on stoneware clay and fired to cone 7 in oxidation. Barnes has a BFA in ceramics from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from Arizona State University. He owns a private studio, Beech Grove Clayworks, for working and teaching. He also teaches ceramics at Vincennes University.
Quoted from: www.uindy.edu/arts/modular-tower
Monon Love Train
Nearly eight months in the making, the recently completed Monon Love Train mural is a powerful expression of the great things that can happen when friends, neighbors, and organizations come together with a common goal: to beautify and uplift.
Megan Jefferson of The Department of Public Words (www.DPWords.org), a longtime resident of the neighborhood, noticed that many of the fifteen-year-old existing murals along the 600 foot stretch of the Monon Trail were very badly weathered, peeling, and chipping. When Holly Combs, also of DPWords, saw the expanse of decaying murals, she declared, “This wall wants us!”. Within several weeks of deciding to take on the wall, Megan had raised funding from three different organizations. Herman and Kittle Properties, Inc., The Meridian-Kessler Neighborhood Association, and SmallBox all donated funds to make the project possible. Amy Dentlaw-Rose photographically captured the existing murals before Terra Pro, LLC pressure washed the wall to get it ready for the new mural. Keep Indianapolis Beautiful moved the trees that were blocking the view of the wall. Sherwin-Williams chipped in with paint and supplies.
The DPWords team brought in the leading stencil artist in the Midwest, Peat Wollaeger (www.stenSOUL.com) to design the numerous four foot by eight foot stencils of train cars and positive message logos that would be used to paint the nearly 5,000 square foot surface. Over the course of several months the team worked with more than 200 volunteers from many organizations including The Girl Scouts, CFI, and the Indianapolis Art Center’s Teen Art Council to complete the mural. “The purpose of The Love Train is to bring positive messages to people in a beautiful way”, says Dave Combs of DPWords. The Love Train carries messages such as, “Smile”, “You are beautiful”, “Do great things”, and “Eye believe you can”. It’s like a 600 foot wide motivational poster… only better.
Love Train Video by Kevin Loiselle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICdBwp7L0U4
This mural was created by Detroit graffiti artist “Monster Steve” during the 2015 Subsurface Graffiti Expo.
Subsurface is an annual event that showcases mural and graffiti artists from all over America and beyond. Since 2002, artists have traveled to Indianapolis every Labor Day weekend to create work and build community. Subsurface seeks to advance the art form through beautifying and revitalizing the landscape of the Fountain Square neighborhood specifically. Subsurface also seeks to raise social and cultural awareness and promote the arts as an institution of empowerment for all involved.
Monument, 2015, makes formal reference to civic monument archetypes, with the twist of being modernized by color, material, and separation from a building. The lending library supports a 1894 Mark Twain quote that it was written during the same time period as the construction of the Soldiers’ and Sailor’s Monument. The quote suggests that books and libraries offer a more durable monument to society and culture than does the stone edifice, and this implication strongly correlates to the free exchange of literature and ideas made possible by the Public Collection project.
Gary Freeman explores the idea of monuments in this sculpture. Instead of a specific monument commemorating an event or person, Freeman instead celebrates the core elements of a monument itself. What makes a monument? Does it have to be about someone or something, or can it be about scale, color, and balance as Freeman suggests here?
In honor of M. Steele Churchman Sculpture Acquisition Fund
Quoted from indplsartcenter.org/Assets/uploads/Artspark-brochure-2012.pdf
Wikipedia’s article indicates the plaque on the base lists the title of the artwork is "Monumentalment IV."
Located in the Indianapolis International Airport – Concourse A
Created by Indianapolis-based muralist and artist, Barb Stahl, this mural lives along the Central Canal in downtown Indianapolis. Believed to be one of the oldest flowers, magnolias have survived extreme conditions. For Stahl, the magnolia flower is a symbol of strength, endurance and beauty. Morning Magnolias is dedicated in loving memory of Leila Elizabeth Whitehouse by her daughters Joyce L. Ribble and Cynthia R. Nokes.
The mural was one of 46 murals commissioned by the Arts Council of Indianapolis as part of its nationally renowned 46 for XLVI murals initiative.
Allan Houser was a sculptor and painter who altered expectations of Native American artists in the 20th century. Houser is known as the patriarch of Native American contemporary fine art and is credited with pushing Native American sculpture into the modern era without sacrificing its traditional and enduring quality.
Morning Prayer was originally shown as part of the 2001 Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship (then called the Eiteljorg Fellowship for Native American Fine Art). That year, Allan Houser was awarded the designation of Distinguished Artist posthumously.
See more at: http://www.eiteljorg.org/explore/outdoor-spaces/outdoor-sculpture#sthash.uGCsCPGN.dpuf
My work focuses on the transformation of inner and outer worlds into near-minimalist forms. Since I believe that form is an effective tool to communicate complex ideas with power and clarity, I consistently try to direct the viewer’s attention away from the outward surface and toward the inner truth of the form. Tangible things such as landscapes, dancers and lovers are sources for much of my work, but I also choose personal relationships, social/political issues or emotional states as subjects.
Although my work is often inspired by the natural world, I avoid using a strictly organic approach in the process of creating the artwork. I select industrial materials and processes that are themselves devoid of any natural or emotional properties. In doing this, I strive to ensure that the subject is reduced to pure form.
I use vivid colors in some of the work to let the viewer distinguish the sculpture from its background. For me, color serves to support the mood of a particular piece, not as the central element in the creation of meaning. In work that deals with internal or subjective issues, I usually give the metal a natural or minimally enhanced surface to allow the form to influence mood.
Morphos depicts various states of change: generational, ecological and biological. Three generations of women are depicted representing the changes and connections in age and family. The seedling growing into a flower represents the change and connection we have to the environment. Layered in behind are images of the canal and Indianapolis, connecting the viewer to the physical space.
Morphos was one of 46 murals commissioned by the Arts Council of Indianapolis as part of its nationally renowned 46 for XLVI mural initiative.
This public artwork is comprised of multiple sections of brushed stainless steel that are welded and bolted together. Resting atop four extended legs is a baby’s high chair. This high chair cradles the midsection of a cross. At the head of the cross are two bronze objects: a baby and a cast of the “Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary.” The sculpture is signed “DLC” at the bottom spine of the dictionary. The sculpture is bolted to a rectilinear concrete pad. A signpost in front of the sculpture reads: “Derek Chalfant / “Mother’s Helper” // Herron School of Art”.
Derek Chalfant was born in Danville, Indiana, and received his B.F.A. from the Herron School of Art, IUPUI, in 1990. He subsequently earned his M.F.A. from the University of Notre Dame in 1994. In 1995 he served as a sculpture instructor at Herron and taught at Notre Dame from 1995-2003. He has been teaching Art and Art History at Elmira College in Elmira, New York, since 2003.
Mountain, House of Straw and Breath, Shell
This mural was part of an on-going mural project of the Arts Council of Indianapolis. When the organization moved from Monument Circle to N. Pennsylvania St. in 2010, the group selected an Indianapolis artist to be represented on the exterior glass wall of their offices. The vinyl images shield the office space from public visibility and the harsh sunlight, and share vibrant, large-scale artwork with the neighborhood. The temporary murals typically last up to two years.
This mural was installed from spring 2012 to spring 2014. The vinyl reproductions of these three paintings are from a body of work exploring place. In particular, abstract places that depict locations where memory, fantasy, and reality meet. There are elements to representation in each piece, but abstraction is essential in keeping the paintings open to interpretation. Through abstraction, viewers are able to explore each piece within their own experience.
Hodgin’s mural was removed in June 2014 and replaced with three murals by Jessica Springman. Springman’s mural was removed in June 2016 and replaced with a three-part mural by Tam Hildreth.
Previous artists included in this mural project include Rachel Steely and Wug Laku.
Moving Forward, by Indianapolis-based architect Donna Sink, is a series of seven eco-friendly transit shelters that showcase original, site-sensitive poetry by published authors who have ties to Indiana. Each shelter is composed of 3-Form Eco-Resin panels, which are made of 40% post-industrial re-grind content, mounted in a stainless steel frame. The shelters are installed on TX Active concrete pads, which help reduce many pollutants deemed harmful to human health and the environment through a photocatalytic process.
Each shelter was conceived as a method for allowing poets to participate in the public art program of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, A Legacy of Gene and Marilyn Glick. A call for poetry was released and entries adjudicated by a panel of professionals selected by the Writers’ Center of Indiana. Each shelter has part of the poem embedded in the resin panels, while the entire poem is legible on one of the shelter side panels.
The designer explains, “The design intent is that the sun will illuminate the colored graphic and cast the shadow of the words on the sidewalk. This temporal, immaterial rendering references the poem’s existence as idea, not object. It also relates the work to the seasonal changing of the sun’s angle in relation to the human body on the sidewalk.”
Selected poems and their respective shelter locations are:
“Invisible Movements,” by Karen Kovacik: Virginia Ave. near McCarty St.
“The Painters,” by Richard Pflum: Virginia Ave. near Woodlawn Ave.
“The Bowl of Possible Peas,” by John Sherman: Virginia Ave. near Lexington Ave.
“Circle, Chorus,” by Mitchell Douglas: Washington St. west of Illinois St.
“Settlement,” by Micah Ling: Washington St. outside the Eiteljorg & Indiana State museums
“Art with a Heart,” by Vienna Wagner: Massachusetts Ave. at Walnut and Park
“Our Street in Endless Circles,” by Jenny Browne: Massachusetts Ave. east of College Ave.
Donna Sink is an Indianapolis-based architect who is interested in innovative and sustainable design solutions. In addition to designing residential and commercial spaces, Sink has extensive experience in exhibition design. Sink received her Bachelors of Architecture from the University of Arizona and her Masters of Architecture from Cranbook Academy of Art. She has worked at architecture firms throughout the country and in Europe, and was formerly a partner at MW Harris Architecture and Design in Indianapolis, IN.
The Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene & Marilyn Glick is an 8-mile, world-class urban bike and pedestrian path in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. The Indianapolis Cultural Trail seamlessly connects neighborhoods, cultural districts and entertainment amenities while serving as the downtown hub for central Indiana’s vast greenway system.
Read more about the Moving Forward project here.
This mural honors Mpozi Mshale Tolbert, a highly visible Indianapolis photojournalist, DJ and creative entrepreneur who, in 2006, suddenly collapsed and died at age 34.
Tolbert was born in Philadelphia and sold his first photograph to the Philadelphia Daily News at age 16. As a young man, he freelanced in Philadelphia, covering everything from breaking news to Philly’s vibrant music scene. He even documented the rise of hip-hop super group The Roots, and lent both his keen eye and voice to their record Do You Want More? After shooting for the Associated Press and Vibe, among others, Mpozi landed a staff job with the Indianapolis Star at 26. Despite his 6’6” frame, subjects said that Mpozi simply disappeared behind the camera. Whether he was covering the wreckage of 9/11, or a quiet moment between a son and his father just back from Iraq, his photos deftly captured life’s pleasure and pain without exploiting it.
In addition to his career as a photojournalist, Tolbert maintained a studio in Fountain Square where he displayed his photographs of Philadelphia and New York. He also was a Sunday night DJ at a Broad Ripple nightclub where he played reggae and Brazilian music.
Depicted in the mural are the seven symbols of African Humanism, a world view that promotes interconnectedness and coexistence of all humankind. Mpozi was raised to reflect these values in his daily work and life.
This Fountain Square mural was created by local artist Justin Cooper, a member of the BRIDGE collective of artists who create works of visual art and music. Another, larger mural also honoring Mpozi and also painted by BRIDGE visual artists is located in Broad Ripple Village.
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