Traffic Signal Box Art
Oliver Ave and River Ave, Indianapolis, IN, 46221
The West Indianapolis community (Oliver Street to Raymond, White River to Holt Ave) lies “between the rivers” of Eagle Creek and the White River. It is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Indy, with many West Indy families having lived here for multiple generations. In the spring of 2015, eight traffic signal control boxes, created by professional artists from designs voted on by a panel representing both art experts and the neighborhood residents, were painted as part of a Great Indy Cleanup project. Keep Indianapolis Beautiful’s Great Indy Cleanup program helps community groups organize to combat heavy litter and debris that has accumulated in public spaces such as streets, alleys, greenspaces, and waterways. Some cleanup efforts also include new plantings and community murals, all done by neighborhood volunteers. For more information about the Great Indy Cleanup program, visit http://www.kibi.org/programs/beautification/great-indy-cleanup/
Art teacher Michael Schulbaum coordinated a competition for students at the Key Learning Community, where the box is located, in order to select and refine the design for this artwork. The winning design was by 5th grade student Jalen Washington Cordell, showing a brain on wheels heading down the “Education Highway,” expressing the idea of the brain as an engine that takes you anywhere you want to go, and it only needs to be “turned on”. This design wraps three sides, with the fourth side (facing the street) a combination of several students’ design ideas expressing pride in the Indianapolis Public Schools system. Schulbaum transferred the students’ designs to the box and painted them.
Key Learning Community was a K-12 specialty school, the first in the world to be organized around educating students through theorist Howard Gardner’s “multiple intelligences” concept, until it was closed at the end of the 2015-2016 school year and refocused into a K-8 arts magnet school.
Medium type: Paint
Date created: 2015